In fundamental terms, the expression augmented reality, often abbreviated to AR, refers to a simple combination of real and virtual (computer-generated) worlds. Given a real subject, captured on video or camera, the technology augments (= adds to) that real-world image with extra layers of digital information. Combining digital information, photographs and 4G video, streets are represented by three-dimensional graphics which even allow the user to enter buildings and see a live video stream.
A notable example of an augmented reality app is Recognizer, which links face recognition software to social networking profiles. This means that you could simply capture a persons image in your mobiles viewfinder, and potentially have access to their identity, contact details and a range of personal information. Most Augmented Reality research focuses on see- through devices, usually worn on the head that overlay graphics and text on the users view of surroundings.
Just as monitors allow us to see text and graphics generated by computers, head-mounted displays (HMDs) will enable us to view graphics and text created by augmented-reality systems.
There are two basic types of HMDS: ◦ optical see-through ◦ video see-through Optical see-through Video see-through displays: displays:
Handheld Augment Reality employs a small computing device with a display that fits in a users hand. Handheld AR employed sensors such as digital compasses and GPS units for its six degree of freedom tracking sensors.
Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) makes use of digital projectors to display graphical information onto physical objects.
Objects in the real and virtual worlds have to be properly aligned with respect to each other. Some applications demand accurate registration., e.g., virtual surgery where error can be fatal!! Registration errors can also cause motion-sickness.
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Technological Limitations: ◦ Displays, trackers, and AR systems in general need to become more accurate, lighter, cheaper, and less power consuming. ◦ The display isn’t very bright and completely washes out in bright sunlight. ◦ The equipment isn’t nearly as portable as desired. Since the user must wear the PC, sensors, display, batteries, and everything else required. User Interface Limitations:o Need a better understanding of how to display data to a user and how the user should interact with the data.
AR has a great future as it promises better navigation and interaction with real and virtual world in ways which has previously been unimaginable.