Augmented reality was not a very familiar term until before a game named Pokémon Go became a sensational hit all across the globe. Everybody knew that the game is based on the concept of Augmented Reality (AR). The game uses the camera of the device and GPS to trace the location and provide for the background graphics on which the superimposed Pokémon characters do the actual play.
The concept also reminds us of the “Minority Report” or “Iron Man” style of interactivity
Technically, Augmented Reality is the superposition of information on the real world that we see in our surroundings. For instance, sounds, images, and data can be superimposed over what we see and hear. It is different from the concept of virtual reality. In virtual reality, the environment or interface is a mimic or simulation of the real environment. On the other hand, Augmented Reality, instead of replacing the environment, actually adds to the real-time environment, thereby enhancing the quality of user experience.
Unlike usual presentation, Augmented Reality is not some kind of futuristic technology. It has been prevalent for many years but had been limited to few domains when it comes to application. For instance, the heads-up displays, provided in many fighter air crafts dating back to the 90’s, also had the provision of showing information about altitude, speed, and direction of the plane including the objects in the field of view right in front of the eyes of the pilot.
The way Augmented Reality is gaining popularity and the degree of innovation that is being put into the concept, promises to open the doors of immense possibilities that the technology can bring about in making our lives simple and convenient. Recent developments are a testimony to the potential that the technology has within it. If unleashed, then definitely, the world will look something different – a good case study is the Popularity of Pokemon game.
For instance, the Google Glasses rolled out by tech giant Google in 2013 used the concept of Augmented Reality to allow the users to get a better interface of the surroundings through the pre-existing vision with the help of wearable glasses. These glasses can respond to voice commands, overlay videos and images onto the screen of the glasses and so on. On similar lines, some smartphones and tablets provide the feature of pointing the camera at the sky and see the names of the stars and planets superimposed on the real image of the sky.
The innovation is not just limited to phones and tablets but also extends to other UI devices like:
1. Earbuds that can adjust the sound coming from the surroundings.
2. The lenses that can adjust according to the requirements of the user.
3. Futuristic helmets that can provide information related to speed, direction, and location of the driver.
4. Wearable gears which can be used to make video calling or conferencing easier etc.
However, there has always been a lot of controversies when it comes to large-scale public implementation of the technology owing to many security and privacy concerns.
The ultimate purpose of Augmented Reality is to create a convenient and a natural immersion of the things that form the objects of our interaction in our daily lives. And a lot of job needs to be done to make the technology come within reach of every common man in near future.