What Is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality (AR) – What is AR…? Hmmm?
AR is otherwise known as Augmented Reality, also known as ‘That Pokemon GO one?’
AR took the world by storm when Pokemon GO was released. Everyone’s mind was blown when they saw their favourite Pokemon in front of them and were given the chance to truly catch ’em all!
But before we dive straight into the whole AR deal first we need to define what AR is – what does it mean and why is it important?
AR (Augmented Reality) enhances the real-world environments, objects and situations with the help of computer-generated perpetual information with multiple sensory modalities like – auditory, visual, olfactory, haptic and somatosensory; allowing the user to manipulate their surroundings. The most common example of AR tech is Snapchat.
The cute filters that you use are all AR! (DECEPTION! That’s what it is! She broke my poor heart with those big eyes!)
You can use AR with your mobile phones and tablets. Though, Contact Lenses that use the AR technology are in development (I can’t WAIT to try those on!)
Oh, and AR smart glasses are also available!
But that doesn’t mean that the AR tech is limited to only your mobile phones and tablets or smart glasses. No no nooo.
There are different types of AR and these types are as follows –
Projection Based –
You can easily guess what this is about – projection! (wooooah) Yeah, it’s about light being projected onto a surface.
Like in the movies when someone uses a device to project a map or something onto a surface.
You can use this type of AR by touching the surface on where the light is being projected and by light I don’t mean a flashlight, no.
It’s the image or software being projected to the surface with which you can interact!
It is widely used to create deception when projected on objects by changing the position, orientation and the depth of an object.
For example, you can use AR to see if the bed, sofa, fridge or a closet that you’re planning to buy will fit perfectly in the created space.
However, my favourite type of Projection-based AR is creating 3D images in mid-air! Look it up they’ve actually done that!
Recognition Based –
Also known as Marker Based AR is the type of AR that provides the user with some more information about the object after it focuses on the recognition of the object.
How does it do that? Well, it detects the object in front of the camera and provides information about the object on the screen.
The recognition of the object is based on the ‘marker’. It then replaces the marker on the screen with a 3D version of the corresponding object. Therefore, the user can view the object in more detail and from multiple angles.
While rotating the marker the user can also rotate the 3D imagery as well. This acts as a reference for the AR app running on the system.
Location-Based AR also known as ‘Marker-less AR’ is the type of AR which is perhaps the most popular and widely used in the industry!
The reason for calling this type of AR ‘Location Based’ is because well it’s based on the location provided by the location-based apps in your mobile phone.
Perhaps the most popular example of this type of AR is ‘Pokemon GO’ which uses your GPS, digital compass and then tracks your live location and provides you with a feature to have Pokemon in the real world which you can watch, fight or capture through your camera!
However, location-based AR is mostly used by travellers.
How does this work for travellers?
Well, the information is provided by their live location, GPS and digital compass which then predicts where the user is looking and then it provides additional information on the display screen about the objects that can be seen from your camera!
Superimposition Based –
This type of AR provides an ‘alternative’ view of the object in view. This replaces the entire object or a part of the object with an augmented alternate.
To explain it in a better way a doctor can use this type of AR to examine a patient with live-feed of the X-Ray of that patient in different angles. Since it can superimpose an X-Ray view to help better understand what’s wrong with the dude!
Travellers can use this technology to bring ancient monuments back to life in their original glory!
You can relive different eras complete with the landscapes with Superimposition AR! (woooah! :O)
To give you a better example!
Have you ever played an FPS game where your character can use night vision, radioactive view and infrared view? Yes? Good!
All of that is based on Superimposition AR! Yuuuup.
Challenges with AR:
Like everything else, there are some challenges when it comes to developing AR and using AR.
When it comes to developing an AR the major issues are limitations. One of our developers shared their experience with AR –
‘When it comes to developing an AR there’s isn’t much access provided when you use the Unity AR Kit. Look at Apple’s AR app ‘Animoji’ that’s probably the best AR app out there. Won’t go into much detail but we are working on something like that and it’s going to be so much better. Anyway, the limitations that come with the Unity AR Kit have its limitations. You can develop something with a limited amount of features with the AR Kit but in order to take it beyond you need to optimise it yourself with other software’ – Hamza
Now that we know that there are limitations when it comes to developing an AR that doesn’t mean that it can’t be better. You can search online and see for yourself some of the amazing things that people have accomplished with AR.
The AR market is pretty young, so there aren’t many business models through which you can be sure that it’s gonna be great!
AND! There are some privacy and security concerns when it comes to AR. Imagine buying clothes online and you try it on with AR. With the lack of security, anyone can do anything with the image of you… I don’t want to get into details but yeah.. A LOT OF SHIT!
Other than these challenges there are some others when it comes to using AR.
Remember when Pokemon GO was the hype? Everyone wanted to catch ‘em all?
And people were actually walking out of their homes to play the game… Yeah, do you know how many accidents occurred ‘cause of that game? Because people were too careless and didn’t see where they were going?
Nearly 150,000 traffic accidents and around 256 people lost their souls. Homes were being invaded to catch a specific Pokemon. IT WAS MADNESS!!
(Madness? … THIS! IS! SPARTAAAAAA!!!)
What have we done…?
Ever used Apple’s ‘Animoji’ app? Where you can make your own face and then it does exactly what you do IN REAL TIME!!
I know it’s great, That’s AR! It recognises your face and through infrared rays, it traces your face movements and then adds it to the character in the app.
WE are doing something like that… I can’t go into much detail (they’re threatening to eat my pizza! </3) BUT! It’s like that and more… oh ho hooo so much MORE!
We’re also working on a little something that is along the lines of Pokemon GO but different in the sense that you won’t be catching any Pokemon (Sucks, I know :/) but it’s based entirely on geo-location and AR.
We’ve worked with Nvidia, Mountain Dew, Ford and other companies and have developed AR apps for them!
However, these aren’t the only things that we’ve done with AR. Here are our slide decks – Take a look ^_^
And THANK YOU for reading!
Have a great day!
A humble employee at Frag Games who just wants his pizza back :/