• Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world
environment where the objects that reside in the real world are
enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes
across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic,
somatosensory and olfactory.
• Essentially, AR is a technology that lays computer-generated images
over a user’s view of the real world. These images typically take shape
as 3D models, videos and information.
Features of Augmented reality
• Augmented reality works in conjunction with headsets and/or digital
devices such as tablets, smartphones and even PCs. The devices
themselves contain software, sensors and digital projectors that trigger
digital displays onto physical objects.
• AR can be created and consumed in many different forms. For
example, Google Glass displays 2D images onto see-through glasses,
whilst Microsoft’s HoloLens embeds 3D images into the world around
• A feature of AR is the ability to map out the surrounding efficiently
and track the movement of the user simultaneously. This will make
position of the projected object exact.
• There are three working principles of AR, namely;
• Marker-based tracking: This mode requires optical markers, such as
QR codes, to trigger the AR features. By pointing your mobile camera
at one of these barcodes, the application recognizes it and
superimposes the digital image on the screen.
• Marker-less tracking: This mode is premised on object recognition.
AR applications that work based on marker-less tracking are triggered
when they recognize certain real-world features. In the case of
Snapchat, that real-world object is your face.
• Location based AR: As the name suggests, location-based AR ties the
augmented reality content to the specific location. These come in
handy while navigating through an unknown location inside a city. For
example Pokémon Go
Applications of Augmented Reality
• Architecture - AR can aid in visualizing building projects. Computer-
generated images of a structure can be superimposed onto a real-life
local view of a property before the physical building is constructed
• Education - Text, graphics, video, and audio may be superimposed
into a student's real-time environment. Textbooks, flashcards and other
educational reading material may contain embedded "markers" or
triggers that, when scanned by an AR device, produced supplementary
information to the student rendered in a multimedia format.
• Marketing - AR is used to integrate print and video marketing.
Printed marketing material can be designed with certain "trigger"
images that, when scanned by an AR-enabled device using image
recognition, activate a video version of the promotional material
• Gaming - games like Pokémon-Go have been developed where they
have combined the gameplay with the real world environment.
• Social media - popular apps like snapchat and tiktok use AR in their
filters that allow users to use different filters on their video feeds
• Health - a device called a near-infrared vein finder that films
subcutaneous veins, processes and projects the image of the veins onto
the skin has been used to locate veins.
• Fitness - AR hardware and software for use in fitness includes smart
glasses made for biking and running, with performance analytics and
map navigation projected onto the user's field of vision
• These are just a few of the many real world uses of Augmented reality
Risks of AR
• Physical harm - people playing games like Pokémon Go have gotten
into traffic accidents and incurred injuries.
• Privacy - The concept of modern augmented reality depends on the
ability of the device to record and analyze the environment in real
time. Because of this, there are potential legal concerns over
privacy. Governments might use this technology to illegally track their
• Security - AR is vulnerable to security threats and unauthorized access
by hacker attacks and malware. These attacks can lead to a denial of
service or overlay wrong information, leading to severe, potentially
• In summary AR is a technology that brings together the virtual world
and real world together. As we have seen AR has a multitude of
applications in every aspect of life. And the use of AR is growing with
simultaneous advancement of technology. But we should be careful in
our use of AR as it comes with its own set of dangers.
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