Augmented Reality (AR) is a technological breakthrough, which are emerging technologies all set to change the world. Consistently, this technology is proving to be beneficial and resourceful in day to day lives. The most celebrated part about augmented reality technology is that it combines the virtual into the real; the imaginary into reality. In this way, it works to give us a higher transcendental understanding of even some of our most basic senses like hearing, sight, feeling, etc.
It can be confidently said that augmented reality lies in the middle of the technological spectrum. In a way, it is a sort of mixed reality, which achieves an equilibrium between the real world, and that what is virtual.
Crux of Augmented Reality
It is at the crux, an enhanced version of reality, where images are overlapped and super-imposed through machine imaging. As the name suggests, augmented refers to adding or enhancing something, and this is exactly why augmented reality is enhanced reality.
It is enhanced due to the graphics, sounds, touch features that escalate what we feel beyond the natural world, and secure a strong user experience. Tracing back its origins, in the year 1968, a professor of Harvard University who is also a renowned computer scientist, by the name of Ivan Sutherland, invented a concept called the Sword of Damocles.
This was a head mounted display, wherein consumers could experience computer graphics. This phenomenon made the users feel as if they are in an artificial or alternate reality. However, since this was the budding of virtual reality, the origin is also credited to the trace of augmented reality.
Louis Rosenburg in 1992 residing in the USAF Armstrong’s Research Lab helped produce the first, fully operational and defined augmented reality mechanism. This robotic system in away helped improve efficiency. Thus, augmented reality in its true essence collaborates the real and the created, through the help of computing images and this helps us perform different tasks with higher and greater efficiency.
There are several use cases of augmented reality which help better day to day functioning in several sectors:
1) Military: In the defence field, augmented reality can be used in battlefield advantage, reducing distractions, providing effective information in one glance, and more
2) Medical: In this arena, Augmented reality works wonders. It can display important medical information of a patient, directly in front of the surgeon to enhance precision. Moreover, it helps in reducing surgical or diagnostic mistakes, and also improved surgical accuracy.
3) Navigation: perhaps one of the greatest uses of this technology is in the sector of navigation. Firstly, it helps create a driver friendly experience. Next, it has several augmented reality applications of high quality, moreover, it can display proper and necessary information while driving so the drivers’ eyes need not be shifted away from the road. Subsequently, this will reduce the road side accidents.
4) Tourism and Sightseeing: the hospitality industry is increasingly including emerging technologies. In this realm, what will be beneficial is the access to libraries of information, integrating virtual elements into the travelling experience, getting instant updates, and knowing more about your surroundings.
5) Maintenance: again, there will be an access to a pool of information. One does not need to pause their work to be able to search for a particular piece of information. Additionally, all the instructions and know how’s will be available in one glance.
Thus, apart from several other industries, augmented reality sees great potential in the ones mentioned above, and more.
While such advances exist, it is necessary to examine their pros and cons.
The most prominent advantages include that one can experience the world no matter where one is. It will give instant advantage of a brilliant user experience. Moreover, it aids drastically in training and planning. Especially with regard to the military, it will help prepare all for the most tedious circumstances. Adding to this, is the real time feedback. The instant feature of augmented reality is what makes it preferable and efficient.
On the other side, there are several cons as well. Firstly, it breaches privacy to a great extent. It places too much power in one individual. Additionally, with the increase in technological advancements, people are continuously shifting away from the real world, and augmented reality, does exactly this. It prohibits social interaction and human integration.
While such aspects exist, the future seems bright as the emergence of AR with wireless technologies will leave no stone unturned. It’s main competition is virtual reality, however, even in that regard, VR and AR have both crafted their respective domains.