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What is Augmented Reality? «Next reality



Apple boss Tim Cook said augmented reality will "change everything".

In recent years, technology has already had an impact across sectors. It has helped companies become more efficient. It has introduced a new way for brands to market products. You can turn neighborhoods into virtual playgrounds. In addition, photos and videos can be expanded to fun and creativity. As a result, AR has the attention of investors.

But what is actually the reality of augmentation? If you are looking for the answer, you are in the right place.

Definition of "Augmented Reality & Its Attributes"

Modern technology has brought the "silver age" of augmented reality, the concept, and even the equivalent. Some implementations of the technology are not new.

Researchers Paul Milgram, Haruo Takemura, Akira Utsumi, and Fumio Kishino defined Augmented and Virtual Reality as points of a spectrum in 1

994, describing the reality-virtuality continuum. At one end of the spectrum is the real environment that man naturally sees. At the other end of the spectrum is virtual reality, where the real environment is completely replaced by a digital environment.

Points between the real environment and the virtual reality are occupied by augmented reality, whereby hardware and software supplement the natural environment digital content.

The researchers also coined the term Mixed Reality as a superordinate classification for technology that merges real and virtual environments, with Microsoft co-opting the term and using its own mixed reality platform for VR (some consumers in recent years confusing.)

To achieve the modern world, the implementation of the textbook definition of augmented reality relies on the environmental understanding of computers as they are provided by a connected camera to provide virtual content within the user's field of vision.

One way to achieve environmental understanding is through markers that allow the computer to track the CO values ​​in the environment. A marker may be created by correspondence of a QR code that a computer's camera recognizes as a virtual content placement area. Another way to create a marker is to have a beacon that tells the AR device its physical location.

Conversely, understanding the environment without markers requires creating a 3D map of the environment. Initial markerless augmented reality experiences required a camera that could detect the depth in the environment. Without a depth sensor, computers can use a computer vision algorithm that is designed to estimate surfaces for anchoring virtual content in the environment.

Another element of environmental understanding is occlusion, which refers to objects of the real world that block the view of virtual content from that point of view of the camera and the user of the computer, thereby improving the realism of the virtual content. Usually this requires a depth sensor, but the advances in computer vision have shown that physical objects can be detected in the camera view.

Finally, realistic augmented reality experiences require 3D content. Developers generally use the same game engines that are used to create virtual reality experiences, mainly Unity and the Unreal Engine, to create augmented reality content. In addition to 3D engines, AR experiences need 3D models to display in real physical environments. Models can be created in 3D modeling programs or captured by photogrammetry of real-world objects.

How Technology Provides Augmented Reality Experiences

We have discovered that augmented reality experiences are provided through computing devices. For the average consumer, this means smartphones and tablets that have cameras for reading markers or detecting surfaces and mobility for users to align the device with their field of view. Many current smartphones also include sensors (typically an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a gyroscope) that allow AR apps to tailor the user to their environment and virtual content.

Modern Pioneers of Enlarged Reality

Augmented reality is far from new technology. As a military tool comes the rudimentary AR use from the 1960s in the head-up displays for fighter jets. And this yellow first line in American Football TV broadcasts? Yes, that is also a form of augmented reality.

However, the modern era of augmented reality dates back to the 2010s in every respect. One of the first examples of Mobile Augmented Reality was Layar, an augmented reality browser that displays waypoints in the camera view and enables marker-based AR experiences. Another augmented reality startup called Blippar bought Layar in 2014 to contribute to its marker-based AR platform for advertisers.

The advanced AR device that is best known to the general public is Google Glass, which premiered Google I / O in 2012. Google launched the wearable device in 2013 through an exclusive Explorer program for $ 1,500, which was expanded to a wider audience in 2014. Unfortunately, the device used a not-too-subtle display and camera mounted in its frame to display notifications and content in the user's field of view was facing a public setback, classifying early users as potentially intrusive "glass holes". Google has deferred the product to mainstream consumers, but re-launched the device in 2017 for enterprise customers, a segment that found the technology useful for improving the productivity of different types of workers.

Google Revisited 2014 with Augmented Reality Hardware The Project Tango platform, a combination of depth sensors for manufacturers and a development kit for creating apps that can use the hardware. The first commercially available Tango device was released in 2016 via the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, followed in 2017 by the Asus ZenPhone AR. Google closed the program in 2017 in favor of a toolkit that does not require any special hardware (more on that later).

The year 2016 became the decisive year for modern augmented reality. Microsoft made its HoloLens headset available for purchase after its launch in 2015. The HoloLens set the standard for augmented reality wearables by using a depth sensor customized with the Kinect camera accessory for Xbox, a physical imaging tool a gesture recognition system that has become the blueprint for other augmented reality headsets , At around $ 3,000, however, the market for HoloLens was mostly limited to companies and developers on the finish line.

In the Mobile AR Ecosystem (ie AR using a Smartphone or Tablet), Pokémon GO became the first Augmented Reality app for blockbusters that turned neighborhoods and parks into virtual playgrounds for players to virtual creatures capture. In addition, Snapchat 2016 has its camera for the first time equipped with AR camera effects (Lenses). In the meantime, Snapchat's flair has fueled the marketing industry's market introduction of the technology for a number of key brand and entertainment franchises. The two aforementioned mobile AR apps have become synonymous with augmented reality, especially in mainstream media reports that attempt to explain AR neophytes.

The Golden and Silver Age of AR

For some AR industry observers, this may seem too early Define the silver or golden age of augmented reality. However, given the spread of new AR technology in the last two years alone, we could look back on this period as the silver age of AR.

With Snapchat expanding its AR platform and adding AR content With the rear-view camera, which allows creators and brands to develop their own AR experiences with the Lens Studio desktop tool, Facebook is mirroring its AR strategy own AR platform and development app Spark AR.

Apple and Google ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android made it easier for mobile app developers to integrate AR into their apps. The development toolkits use the computer vision and the camera of compatible smartphones and tablets to detect surfaces, anchor AR content, simulate ambient light, and other features that can realistically visualize virtual content.

While Google abandoned depth sensors For smartphones, Apple has begun to bring the cameras of the iPhone X series on the market. Apple's TrueDepth cameras enable facial recognition experiences that are infused into the AR space with tools like Animojis. The company is reportedly working to extend the technology to the rear view camera, which would undoubtedly prompt other smartphone makers to follow suit.

The mobile AR platforms are evolving rapidly, with the concept of the AR cloud, a digital copy of the world that enables multi-user experiences and persistent content in the real world, and occlusion that is gradually gaining ground. So far projects like the Niantic Real World Platform, 6D.ai and Ubiquity6 are among the leading AR cloud platforms in the beta test.

After years of hype, Magic Leap finally released its AR headset, the Magic Leap One, in 2018. The device represents HoloLens' biggest challenge yet, with similar features for spatial computing and user interface at a slightly lower price. While still out of the sweet spot for mainstream consumers, Magic Leap has begun to launch a content line-up that seems to hit the consumer market, at least in terms of online chatter and general curiosity (It remains to be seen if this interest will translate into sales.)

The first wave of consumer-oriented, mainstream-style smartphones is currently affecting the market, with covering North's focals for only $ 599. Dollar and the Vuzix marketplace are retail blades for $ 999. Both act as heads-up displays and provide on-demand information, limited app interactions and voice commands with Amazon Alexa, but the release of Nreal Light is not planned But with the ability to display 3D content via a tethered computer package and fashionable sunglasses-style frames, the Nreal Light goes one step further he.

These lesser known companies are likely to be the first of the gate, but the big tech companies are preparing to enter the consumer smart glass race. Apple is the favorite when it comes to dominating space (as is usually the case with consumer electronics). Snap, Facebook and Google are also reportedly developing their own smart glasses or AR headsets.

Challenges of the Augmented Reality Industry

As the augmented reality industry progresses, it faces a series of challenges to become a true mainstream technology. While the industry presents smart glasses as an ever-available experience that introduces constant information into the user's view, wearables must also fall into a form factor that the average consumer would call stylish enough for everyday use. Hardware manufacturers must also consider the day-to-day functionality of these devices as well as the computing power and battery performance required to seamlessly integrate the content into reality (eg replicating the features of HoloLens and Magic Leap One, but best) of smaller form factor ).

And hardware manufacturers must also be able to offer smart glasses at a price that reflects the value of the package. For example, a pair of smart glasses that provides the same relative functionality as a smartwatch will likely not sell many units, as with a smartphone at a price. Conversely, in some cases, an AR headset manufacturer may readily suffer from providing a bulky form factor and a higher price to provide top-of-the-line functionality.

Cover Picture about Microsoft / YouTube

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