An Introduction to Augmented Reality (AR)

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What is Augmented Reality?

Techspace - Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that combines two or three-dimensional virtual objects into a natural environment and then projects these objects into reality in real-time. Augmented reality can be applied to all senses, including hearing, touch, and smell. AR can be used in various fields of health, military, manufacturing, and education. This AR technology can insert certain information into the virtual world and display it in the real world with the help of equipment such as webcams, computers, Android phones, or special glasses.

The Method Developed in Augmented Reality

The method developed in AR is currently divided into two ways, namely: 

  • Marker Augmented Reality (Marker Based Tracking): A marker is usually a black and white illustration of a square with a thick black border and white background. The computer will recognize the position and orientation of the marker and create a 3D virtual world, namely points (0,0,0) and three axes, namely X, Y, and Z. 
  • Projection-Based Augmented Reality: Projection-based AR works by projecting artificial light onto an actual surface. It's like the hologram found in sci-fi movies, Star Wars. AR can detect the interaction between the user and the projection through its changes.
  • Superimposition-Based Augmented Reality: Superimposition Based Augmented Reality can replace the original appearance with an augmented one, either fully or partially. This is where object recognition plays an important role.
  • Markerless Augmented Reality: One of the Augmented Reality methods currently being developed is the "Markerless Augmented Reality" method. With this method, users no longer need to use a marker to display digital elements, with tools provided by Qualcomm for developing Augmented Reality based on mobile devices. They are making it easier for developers to create markerless applications (Qualcomm, 2012).

How Augmented Reality Works

AR works using SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology, sensors, and depth meters. Sensor data collection can be used to determine a location, calculate the distance from the previous location to the destination location, and so on. Of course, all of that can't be separated from the AR supporting components, including the following: 

  • Cameras and Sensors: Cameras and sensors are used to collect collaborative information data with users and send it for processing. The camera on the phone can examine the environment, acquire data, locate physical items, and generate 3D objects.
  • Projection: This component refers to a tiny projector—for example, a kind of AR headset. The device takes sensor information and projects computerized content onto the surface for viewing. However, the utilization of this component has not been fully designed for use in the tool.
  • Reflection: Some AR gadgets have mirrors to help the human eye see the image. Because some of them have variations of a small mirror that bends, and some have a double-sided mirror that serves to reflect light to the camera and into the user's eye. The purpose of reflection is to play a precise and accurate image setting.

Devices that Support Augmented Reality

In this digital age, many modern AR devices will continue to evolve. Examples such as Google Glass or handheld devices. The following are the categories of devices that support AR:

  • Mobile devices: They are the most numerous and suitable for AR mobile apps. They started from business, sports, games, and social networking.
  • Special AR devices: For better experiences, devices are specially designed for AR. An example is the HUD (head-up display), which sends data with a transparent display to a view that the user can accept.
  • AR glasses: These devices are Google Glass, Laster See-Thru, and Meta 2 Glasses. This device can display notifications from a smartphone and help from the assembly sector, access content without holding hands, and so on.
  • Virtual retinal displays (VRD): These devices produce images by a laser beam to the human eye. It aims to display a bright idea (high contrast) and high resolution. This system is still being built for trial use. 

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