We all have seen and experienced 3D and virtual reality which has been the trending technology till today, but according to most of the innovative minds today the next game changing technology will be “Augmented reality”. Augmented reality today is restricted to certain protocols in definite view of visions. Like the augmented reality apps or Google’s latest integration of heads up display to its windshields, as impressive as they are the real thing is bigger than that.
Basically augmented reality involves the principal of overlaying digital information on in the real world instead of creating an artificial reality. The virtual reality technology that is in bloom right now involves projecting digital information to an artificial environment to make it seem real, like your VR headsets.
But what augmented reality does is it projects digital information manipulated to blend in with the natural environment, like out sidewalks, walls, tunnels, or even a plain field of vision. Through augmented reality, artificial components can be added to our reality.
The integration of augmented reality into smartphones, which incidentally have all the necessary components is actively in progress right now. The device looks for a preprogrammed 2 dimensional trigger that has been preprogrammed and as long as you are looking through your smartphone the two dimensional trigger comes to life, like it does in virtual reality.
The problem with this is our field of vision is still restricted through the smart phone or any other device for that matter. Which restricts its usage by a great deal, but that is not the only way to use augmented reality. Digital imagery projected to physical objects known as projection mapping which has the potential to produce artificial reality on physical objects which would almost seem real.
Projection mapping is basically the new projection technology which can convert physical objects even which are irregularly shaped into a display surface for video projection. This is commonly known as video mapping or spatial augmented reality. By using next gen technology, two and three dimensional objects can be spatially mapped on a virtual program which integrates with the said object to imitate the real environment.
To begin with the chosen object or environment to which the stream has to be projected on, is mapped to set the video edges to the desired surface. Then a technique called masking is implemented to ‚ mask‘ the real object or environment that stops the feed from seeming real to human perception. In today’s existing technology 20000 lumen projector is required to cover a commercial sky scrapper.
Real World Applications
Augmented reality if used properly has in numeral application in the real world from education to engineering. Here are a few of the plethora of applications augmented reality could have in the real world.
- GPS turn by turn navigation: This is already under development by Google and could literally render the problems involved in finding a specific location non-existent.
- Engineering : By using augmented reality in specialized machine construction the efficiency of manual labor could increase drastically
- Construction: Think about always having a blueprint right where the actual building is supposed to be. Imagine about how convenient that would be.
- Education: Using augmented reality for teaching instead of theoretical briefing could speed up the learning process by a lot and increase efficiency.
- Gaming: Actually this is where it all started, and by the turn of the decade gaming could very well have become reality.
- Media industry: the traditional practices of passing on information will be replaced by augmented reality induced display on every wall and outdoor sites.
- Safety and Rescue: When charging into unknown territory during safety and rescue operations, having a pre mapped feed in real time to point exactly where they are and where they should be could help save millions of lives.
Along with projection mapping there are many more interesting technologies combined to produce a more realistic augmented reality experience in experimentation, this could induce the sense of smell, direction and physical cues to make things more realistic.
But unfortunately augmented reality has its share of drawbacks, as the technology grows the chances of individual profiling increases giving rise major privacy issues. Also this could hamper personal interaction with the real world. Why would someone go outside is they could see everything inside.
So in conclusion, even though augmented reality has its drawbacks, it is sure to be the next multi-billion dollar industry in the next decade.