The basis of Augmented Reality

      Is not strange that each day more people find an Augmented Reality article, or a new application which is based on this technology, or even a lot of tweets talking about it. Augmented Reality is spreading fast, fact that is not unusual taking into consideration that big brands and companies are pushing its use, but do people really know what Augmented Reality means?

      Adding information and meaning to real objects the users see is the goal of augmented reality. We have to notice that there is a difference between Augmented reality and Virtual reality. While the latter tries to create a simulation of reality by replacing the real objects by virtual ones, the former adds information to the real world, adding contextual data to deepen a person´s understanding of the object. This contextual data may be 3D objects layered on the real world, audio commentaries, historical context, geolocated  POIs(Points of interest) or other forms of content that can make a user’s experience of a thing or a place more meaningful.  Augmented reality is not merely a companion text or multimedia file but a technology designed to “see” a real object or place and provide the user with appropriate information at the right time. Augmented reality is designed to blur the line between the reality the user is experiencing and the content provided by technology.

       A huge range of technologies and current uses can be successfully merged with augmented reality. Many augmented reality projects use smartphones or mobile devices that projects data into the user’s field of vision, corresponding with a real object or space the user is observing. Although there are also a lot of Augmented reality projects which use PC as hardware, the trend is creating these project in such spread mobile devices. For example it may be applied to fields like aviation, academy, industrial environments or museums. Regarding the placing of geolocated tags or objects, the GPS data is used to provide users with an extra context, like visual or audio multimedia about real objects or places. In the other hand, in order to overlay extra information over the real objects, augmented reality uses computer vision technology to recognize and follow these real objects.

      As we already said in a previous entry (How AR will save new powerfull devices) mobile devices are becoming more powerful and increasingly widespread. At the same time, costs for these devices are falling and they are more affordable for the current user. This fact may lead to an increasingly integration and use of augmented reality as a daily action, being an important part of our live in a near future (Augmented Reality is getting into our daily lifes). In pre-mature steps, augmented reality required of complex and specific hardware which made the development and maintenance expensive. Nowadays, with those new powerful devices this issue has been solved, allowing augmented reality to be used in a lot of different situations.

Do not forget to check out our AR Browser and Image Matching SDKs.

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