Core concepts and subdivisions of Augmented Reality.

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Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular. Producing an AR experience requires capturing the context of the user, performing transformations, comparing the user context with triggers in a database and producing signals that present digital data, also known as “augmentations,” to the user’s senses. Capturing the user context is the task of (hardware) sensors. Sensors come in many sizes and shapes.

Together or combined, such observations are real-time inputs to either a processor on the local device or to a network-connected server. The outputs of the real-time computation are the detection and recognition of patterns produced by the physical world. Once the patterns are recognized and matched with digital data that has been encoded for use in AR experiences, these digital data and associated instructions must be received by a hardware device on or near the user

The hardware produces signals that are detected by the user’s auditory, tactile or visual senses. Signals to be detected by hearing are sounds and signals seen by the user are light waves. All AR projects involve software in multiple ways. This comes in many flavours and levels of sophistication.

Finally, AR experiences require software to:                                    

  • Detect patterns in sensor observations
  • Interpret user context
  • Track user changes with respect to the target and various triggers
  • Produce hardware-generated sounds, tactile signals or visible augmentations

An application may be dedicated to AR functions, or AR features can be embedded into another enterprise application. During an AR experience, there may also be capture and logging of interactions with physical and digital assets. The software generates timestamps that are associated with readings captured by sensors and stored for many secondary applications.

The elements include:

  • Real Physical World
  • Digital visual elements
  • Other sensory stimuli.

Similarly, AR tools include Sound, processor, input devices, and display.

It has higher applications in Business applications and mobile computing because the group and need of AR are more in need in many industries.

Devices in which AR runs:

smartphone, handheld device, smart glasses, or the head-mounted displays(HMD) – output devices

camera, webcams  – input devices

Types of AR

Projection-based AR. As the name clearly says this type of AR projects digital images on physical objects in the physical space

  • Recognition based AR
  • Location based AR
  • Outlining AR        
  • Superimposition based AR.
  • Marker-based AR. Marker-based AR uses markers to trigger an augmented experience
  • Marker less AR. Marker-less AR is more versatile than marker-based AR as it allows the user to decide where to put the virtual object.
  • Projection-based AR
  • Outlining AR.

The basic components of the AR framework MORGAN The 3D visualization component is based on a component-based scene graph architecture. While an optimized internal scene graph is used to perform the actual rendering, external scene graphs are attached to support and preserve individual native scene graph structures. This architecture allows us to use, for instance, VRML’97 for the description of the 3D user interface elements, as well as for objects created within ARTHUR, while e.g. CAD objects may use their own individual external scene graph.

The scene graph has been enhanced to specifically support AR (phantom objects, video and image backgrounds) and fundamental AR/VR interaction techniques (highlighting of objects, universal picking, and collision detection). In the overall system, there exists one visualization component for each user, thus, rendering is performed locally.

Goal of Augmented Reality

One of the key parts of a successful augmented reality performance is cameras and sensors. These devices are used to collect data from the surroundings and then to process it into the application. Using cameras, AR devices scan the objects in front of them, physically locate and measure objects and enhance them with 3D models of AR.

It is important not only to capture the surroundings but also to process them. One of the most important things in understanding augmented reality is to understand how real-life images are changed into augmented ones. To make this happen, the device that holds AR apps has to have certain specifications. Other than that, a CPU, a GPU, RAM, GPS, Bluetooth, flash memory specs help the AR applications in the device to orientate in space and to better understand the reality surrounding it.

Reflection

In augmented reality devices or applications, reflections help to path the graphically changed images to the user’s eye to view it. AR devices use small curved, double-side mirrors to reflect the incoming light to a side-mounted camera. A light engine in the augmented reality devices emits the light towards two separate lenses for each eye. This consists of three layers of glass of three primary RBG colours.

Projection

This implies more on the headsets. The projection turns any surface into an augmented reality interactive environment. Mostly, it changes the view just in front of the user. The surface for the projection does not have much impact, it can be anything – a wall, a hand, the floor, etc.

The goal of Augmented Reality is to create a system in which the user cannot tell the difference between the real world and virtual augmentation. Today Augmented Reality is used in entertainment, military training, engineering design, robotics, manufacturing and other industries.

Slam

As it was mentioned slightly above in the text, simultaneous localization and mapping are some of the most effective ways to render augmented real-life images. This technology localizes sensors by taking into account the surroundings and proceeds to map the structure of the environment. Every augmented reality development kit provides SLAM functionality.

 Recognition

This technology is based on the usage of the camera to identify visual markers or objects. The marker-based AR technology mostly depends on the camera to distinguish a marker from real-world objects.

Location-Based

Opposite to what is augmented reality by recognition, location-based AR is mainly based on a GPS, digital compass, velocity meter, or accelerator to receive the data about the location and implement augmented reality visuals based on the data that is collected. Smartphones are one of the best possible devices to use location-based AR apps since they have the needed functions and make it easy to leverage this type of technology, at the same time making it even more popular. If you are wondering if you ever met this kind of technology – you probably have.

Augmented Reality Devices

Mobile devices

 We already talked a lot about how smartphones and tablets have benefited the market of augmented reality. Mobile AR apps perform best for gaming, entertainment, business, analytics, sports, and social networking purposes.

Special AR devices

These technological appliances are solely designed only for augmented reality experiences. One example of this can be the head-up displays (HUDs), that send data to a transparent display directly into the user’s view.

AR glasses

 Besides the famous Google Glass, there are many more devices that are capable of acting on similar functions. Laforge AR eyewear, Meta 2 Glasses, Lester See-Thru, and others are capable of displaying notifications from smartphones, accessing hands-free information, assisting many workers in the manufacturing industry, giving quick access to the internet depending on the device you use.

AR contact lenses

Although this technology is still far away from being realized, the new research is paving its way and could be the thing that changes what is augmented reality or takes it to another level. Some of the biggest manufacturers in the world announced the creation of this digital appliance. The AR contact lenses will be an addition to our current smartphones, or it will be an appliance that will be capable of running on its own and performing actions like cameras.

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