Condensed from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality
Hardware components for augmented reality are: processor, display, sensors and input devices. Modern mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablet computers contain these elements which often include a camera and MEMS sensors such as accelerometer, GPS, and solid state compass, making them suitable AR platforms.
Various technologies are used in Augmented Reality rendering including optical projection systems, monitors, hand held devices, and display systems worn on the human body.
A head-mounted display (HMD) is a display device paired to the forehead such as a harness or helmet. HMDs place images of both the physical world and virtual objects over the user’s field of view. Modern HMDs often employ sensors for six degrees of freedom monitoring that allow the system to align virtual information to the physical world and adjust accordingly with the user’s head movements.
- Headset computer
- Head-up display
A head-up display, also known as a HUD, is a transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. A precursor technology to augmented reality, heads-up displays were first developed for pilots in the 1950s, projecting simple flight data into their line of sight thereby enabling them to keep their “heads up” and not look down at the instruments. Near eye augmented reality devices can be used as portable head-up displays as they can show data, information, and images while the user views the real world. Many definitions of augmented reality only define it as overlaying the information.
In January 2015, Microsoft introduced HoloLens, which is an independent smartglasses unit. Brian Blau, Research Director of Consumer Technology and Markets at Gartner, said that “Out of all the head-mounted displays that I’ve tried in the past couple of decades, the HoloLens was the best in its class.”. First impressions and opinions have been generally that HoloLens is a superior device to the Google Glass, and manages to do several things “right” in which Glass failed.
Contact lenses that display AR imaging are in development. These bionic contact lenses might contain the elements for display embedded into the lens including integrated circuitry, LEDs and an antenna for wireless communication. The first contact lens display was reported in 1999 and subsequently, 11 years later in 2010/2011.
Another version of contact lenses, in development for the U.S. Military, is designed to function with AR spectacles, allowing soldiers to focus on close-to-the-eye AR images on the spectacles and distant real world objects at the same time.
Virtual retinal display
A virtual retinal display (VRD) is a personal display device under development at the University of Washington’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory. With this technology, a display is scanned directly onto the retina of a viewer’s eye. The viewer sees what appears to be a conventional display floating in space in front of them.
Handheld displays employ a small display that fits in a user’s hand. All handheld AR solutions to date opt for video see-through. Initially handheld AR employed fiducial markers, and later GPS units and MEMS sensors such as digital compasses and six degrees of freedom accelerometer–gyroscope. Today SLAM markerless trackers such as PTAM are starting to come into use. Handheld display AR promises to be the first commercial success for AR technologies. The two main advantages of handheld AR is the portable nature of handheld devices and ubiquitous nature of camera phones. The disadvantages are the physical constraints of the user having to hold the handheld device out in front of them at all times as well as distorting effect of classically wide-angled mobile phone cameras when compared to the real world as viewed through the eye.
Such examples as Pokémon Go and Ingress utilize an Image Linked Map (ILM) interface, where approved geotagged locations appear on a stylized map for the user to interact with.
Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) augments real-world objects and scenes without the use of special displays such as monitors, head mounted displays or hand-held devices. SAR makes use of digital projectors to display graphical information onto physical objects. The key difference in SAR is that the display is separated from the users of the system. Because the displays are not associated with each user, SAR scales naturally up to groups of users, thus allowing for collocated collaboration between users.
Software and algorithms
A key measure of AR systems is how realistically they integrate augmentations with the real world. The software must derive real world coordinates, independent from the camera, from camera images. That process is called image registration which uses different methods of computer vision, mostly related to video tracking.
Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) is a data standard developed within the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC),which consists of XML grammar to describe the location and appearance of virtual objects in the scene, as well as ECMAScript bindings to allow dynamic access to properties of virtual objects.
To enable rapid development of Augmented Reality Applications, some software development kits (SDKs) have emerged. A few SDKs such as CloudRidAR leverage cloud computing for performance improvement.
Augmented reality has many applications. First used for military, industrial, and medical applications, by 2012 its use expanded into entertainment and other commercial industries.By 2016, powerful mobile devices allowed AR to become a useful learning aid even in primary schools.
Architecture and AR
AR can aid in visualizing building projects. Computer-generated images of a structure can be superimposed into a real life local view of a property before the physical building is constructed there; this was demonstrated publicly by Trimble Navigation in 2004. AR can also be employed within an architect’s workspace, rendering into their view animated 3D visualizations of their 2D drawings. Architecture sight-seeing can be enhanced with AR applications allowing users viewing a building’s exterior to virtually see through its walls, viewing its interior objects and layout.
With the continual improvements to GPS accuracy, businesses are able to use augmented reality to visualize georeferenced models of construction sites, underground structures, cables and pipes using mobile devices.Augmented reality is applied to present new projects, to solve on-site construction challenges, and to enhance promotional materials.Examples include the Daqri Smart Helmet, an Android-powered hard hat used to create augmented reality for the industrial worker, including visual instructions, real time alerts, and 3D mapping.
Following the Christchurch earthquake, the University of Canterbury released CityViewAR, which enabled city planners and engineers to visualize buildings that had been destroyed.Not only did this provide planners with tools to reference the previous cityscape, but it also served as a reminder to the magnitude of the devastation caused, as entire buildings had been demolished.
AR applied in the visual arts allows objects or places to trigger artistic multidimensional experiences and interpretations of reality.
AR technology aided the development of eye tracking technology to translate a disabled person’s eye movements into drawings on a screen.
By 2011, augmenting people, objects, and landscapes had become a recognized art style. For example, in 2011, artist Amir Bardaran’s work, “Frenchising the Mona Lisa” overlaid video on Da Vinci’s painting using an AR mobile application called Junaio. The AR app allowed the user to train his or her smartphone on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and watch the lady loosen her hair and wrap a French flag around her visage in the form an Islamic hijab. The wearing of a hijab was controversial in France at the time.
Commerce and Augmented Reality
The AR-Icon can be used as a marker on print as well as on online media. It signals the viewer that digital content is behind it. The content can be viewed with a smartphone or tablet.
AR is used to integrate print and video marketing. Printed marketing material can be designed with certain “trigger” images that, when scanned by an AR-enabled device using image recognition, activate a video version of the promotional material. A major difference between Augmented Reality and straight forward image recognition is that you can overlay multiple media at the same time in the view screen, such as social media share buttons, the in-page video even audio and 3D objects. Traditional print-only publications are using Augmented Reality to connect many different types of media.
Timeline – 2010 – Now
By 2010, Virtual dressing rooms were developed for e-commerce.
In 2012, a mint used AR techniques to market a commemorative coin for Aruba. Using the coin itself as an AR trigger, when held in front of an AR-enabled device it revealed additional objects and layers of information that were not visible without the device.
In 2013, L’Oreal used CrowdOptic technology to create an augmented reality experience at the seventh annual Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada.
In 2014, L’Oreal Paris brought the AR experience to a personal level with their “Makeup Genius” app. It allowed users to try out make-up and beauty styles utilizing a mobile device.
In 2015, the Bulgarian startup iGreet developed its own AR technology and used it to make the first premade “live” greeting card. A traditional paper card was augmented with digital content which is revealed by using the iGreet app.
iGreet’s augmented reality greeting card suddenly becomes alive and hidden digital content appears when being viewed through the app.
In late 2015, the Luxembourg startup itondo.com launched an AR app for the art market that lets art buyers accurately visualize 2D artworks to scale on their own walls to scale before they buy. The app has two AR-enabled functionalities: 1. Live Preview for viewing to scale as the user moves around their room; 2. Backgrounds Preview where the user previews artwork to scale on their pre-saved wall photos. The app allows for searching of the entire marketplace catalog or their saved Favorites while in AR mode, so the user can jump between artworks without having to return to the Home screen. Virtually installed works can be photographed and then shared through native channels.
Uses for Augmented Reality
Emergency management/search and rescue
Spatial immersion and interaction
Broadcast and Live Events
Tourism and sightseeing
Latest in AR:
Super Mario AR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN95nNDtxjo