This article is a beginners’ guide for understanding Augmented Reality (AR). So, we are not going too techy.
Let me clear this misconception many people have about Augmented Reality (AR) – Augmented Reality is not a new technology. Though a lot of people are just getting to hear about AR, this technology is not altogether new.
Let’s have a look at the history of Augmented reality.
When Was Augmented Reality First Created?
Augmented Reality was invented in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland. He developed the first head-mounted display system. As at this time, the invention wasn’t called Augmented Reality.
It wasn’t until 1990 that the term ‘Augmented reality’ was given by Tim Caudell, a Boeing researcher.
‘Augment’ is coined from the Latin word ‘augmentare’, which means to increase or enhance.
Basically, Augmented Reality means an enhanced reality. To be candid, this technology really enhances reality.
Let’s dive in a little deeper.
What Is Augmented Reality?
This is a live stage demonstration of Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality, also known as Mixed Reality, is the superimposing of the digital world into the natural world. This is the most basic definition of Augmented Reality. AR is any system that is capable of superimposing a computer-generated image into the real world and thus leads to a composite view.
A projector is a close example, but it’s not an AR system. Augograms are the computer images that is used to create AR. The practice and science of creating augogram is known as Augography.
AR system must fulfill these three basic demands;
- It must be a combination of the virtual and real worlds.
- It must allow real-time interactions. (You should be able to point or touch virtual objects within your environment and get an appropriate response)
- Accurate 3D representation of real and virtual objects.
AR system was first introduced in the 1960s but over the years, the system has experienced a massive wave of innovations. What originally was a piece of bulky and techy machinery now has the potential to change every aspect of our society, even as far as basic school education.
Just like the root meaning of the world, AR has the ability to enhance any field of disciple where it’s properly adapted.
Personally, on ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ Website, we believe AR is one of the major driving forces of the imminent fourth industrial revolution.
The first industrial revolution was powered by the introduction of steam engines.
The second industrial revolution was known as the age of Science and mass production.
And, the third industrial revolution was the rise of digital technology.
We believe that Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Quantum Computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will majorly be responsible for the fourth industrial revolution.
Augmented Reality Versus Mixed Reality
Augmented Reality is the same as Mixed Reality. The word mixed reality is often used because with AR, digital objects have accurate real-time, interactable representation in the real world. So AR is a perfect blend of the Digital World and the natural world.
However, AR and VR are quite different.
Augmented Reality (AR) Versus Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both have to do with interactions with the digital world. But, whereas for virtual reality your consciousness shifts completely to a digital world, you are completely cut off in terms of physical interaction from the physical world.
Virtual Reality (VR) glasses offer a completely immersive experience for the user. Virtual reality satisfies most of your senses. The experience satisfies your sense of sight, sound, and sometimes smell and touch.
So, basically virtual reality completely shifts your consciousness to a digital world. While Augmented Reality, brings the digital world to you. With AR, you can interact with the digital and real-world easily.
Augmented Reality glasses are quite different from that of virtual reality glasses.
How Does Augmented Reality Work?
An easy example of Augmented Reality (AR) is your Snapchat. When you add that cute cat face or glasses and mustache, you were actually using augmented reality (AR) at a level.
Augmented Reality (AR) enabled your phone cameras to add digital elements to the physical environment.
See the example below,
The chair in the image above is not physical in that environment. But, an Augmented Reality camera can help view the environment as though the chair were physically present.
It creates a seeming illusion making you feel that the holographic content is in the physical environment around you. Augmented Reality adds digital elements such as videos, graphics, sounds, or 3D objects to the physical environment.
What Are The Uses Of Augmented Reality?
After seeing all the fancy displays of AR glasses or systems, the question most people ask is – what can augmented reality be used for?
Here are a few applications of Augmented Reality in the real world. We will talk more about these uses in other publications.
1) Enhanced Shopping Decision With Augmented Reality
The most common use of augmented reality is in mobile apps such as Snapchat. Most millennia ladies have used this feature on their phones at one point or the other.
But, beyond just making your face look like a cute little kitten, or adding mustache and abs to your body, an AR-powered app can help you to make smarter purchase decisions.
Instead of having to put on a cloth, shoe, glasses, handbags and so on before you buy them, with Augmented Reality, you can easily check how well it fits – a digital image can automatically show you how you will look like when you have the cloth on. You can see how well a chair will fit into your living space even before you buy it at all.
2) Enhanced Learning Process With Augmented Reality
According to research, we remember easily;
10% of what we Read,
20% of what we Hear,
30% of what we See,
50% of what we See and Hear,
70% of we Say and Write,
90% of what we Do.
Augmented Reality technology provides an environment for all these learning processes to be actualized. You can, read, hear, see, say, and even do, in the same environment. A well-integrated learning environment and retention ability can be greatly enhanced by the use of AR.
3) Enhanced Work Environment Collaboration With Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality has the potential to change workplace collaboration. With augmented reality board members in a meeting can now have 3D hologram representations of themselves. This technology reduces the stress and expenses of traveling and lodging in hostels for every board meeting.
With augmented reality, you can sit in your office and send real-time holographic images of yourself and have board meetings as though you was there. When integrated with cloud collaboration, Augmented Reality can lead to a more productive workplace.
Is Augmented Reality (AR) Dangerous?
To give a straight answer, augmented Reality is not dangerous. But, just like every technology device, there are necessary precautions. You can rest assured that AR-device doesn’t have any hazardous features. There’s no dangerous chemical, and there is no high voltage electricity that could lead to electric shock.
Augmented Reality glasses project light waves similar to that of the projector. The light coming from your projector box is not harmful in any way so also is the light particles coming from your holo-lens, or whatever AR glasses that you have.
Precautions When Using Augmented Reality Glasses
The technology is still largely in the boarding stage. So, for now, it’s still advisable that you use the glasses in a controlled environment.
Some augmented reality glasses blind you partially from some of the elements in your real environment, so as not to keep bumping into things and tripping yourself off, you should use it in a clear and safe environment.
It’s advisable that you only buy your augmented reality glasses from well-trusted suppliers. This precaution ensures that you don’t buy AR glasses that do not meet up with the regulated standard of the technology.