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How Does Augmented Reality Work?

Augmented Rearlity (AR) works through a device of sorts (mobile, video, wearable) and displays the different, enhanced display of reality, layered on top of the real world. In order to know when to display the AR elements, and what to display, the device needs to “recognize” pre-set markers (signals) in the real world, by using tracking. There are two types of AR tracking:

1. Markerless – This means that the display device relies on GPS, or a digital compass, to pick up where the information should be displayed, i.e. how far away and in which direction. Most modern Smartphones and tablets are capable of this.

2. Marker – This uses visual markers that the display device recognizes through the use of a camera (web cam or mobile camera). The markers can be objects, photographs or random shapes that are similar to QR codes.

How Can You Use and See Augmented Reality?

There are currently 3 main ways:

1. Mobile (hand-held) – This involves the viewing of the augmented world around us, through the “window” of our mobile displays, such as mobile phones, tablets, etc. The image below shows an educational AR application, which shows a real building in its historical form, through the use of an iPhone.


2. Video (spatial) Displays – This is becoming popular with some children’s toys currently being sold, as well as being integrated into popular gaming consoles. This generally involves holding up a pre-programmed, recognizable sign or token, which is recognized through a webcam, or other camera of sorts and the screen (TV or computer monitor) displays a 3D image or animation. See the image below for an example.


3. Wearable Displays – This includes Glasses and also contact lenses which are being developed. Google’s AR glasses are on the way, and it is hard to know exactly how intrinsically linked it will be to our lives.

Think Google Plus social integration, showing you where your friends are in the vicinity, and sharing/interacting with them visually from a distance, or perhaps looking at everyday objects, or historical landmarks, and being able to “Google” them on the spot!


Augmented Reality on Four Wheels

ANW The Future of Augmented Reality

How does Augmented Reality Marketing works?

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