Discovering What Makes Augmented Reality Work

Augmented technology expands the natural world with digital transformation to improve the human senses. A person gets a view of the physical real-world environment with computer-generated images. The rise of the internet and smartphones has made it possible for augmented reality to affect people’s habits and social life and the entertainment industry.

In the majority of augmented reality (AR) applications, users can see both worlds such as natural and synthetic light. To achieve this, projected images are overlayed on top of a pair of see-through goggles or glasses, allowing the images and interactive virtual objects to layer on top of the real-world view of the user. The augmented view is available on different devices such as screens, handheld devices, glasses, head-mounted displays, and mobile phones.

Major Approaches to AR Technologies

Below are the key approaches to augmented reality:

  • Recognition-based. In this approach, a camera is used for identifying visual markers or objects to showcase an overlay only when the device senses the marker. When recognized, the device displays a virtual 3D version of the object. Aside from calculating the marker image, the device can also calculate position and orientation.
  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). This approach is thought to be the most effective in rendering virtual images over real-world objects. This system localizes sensors with regard to their surroundings and maps the environment’s structure.

  • Location-based. This approach depends on GPS, digital compass, accelerometers, and velocity meters to offer data on the location. These inputs are the bases to activate the AR visualization. Some uses of location-based AR include searching for nearby services and mapping directions.

Major Components of AR Devices

Augmented reality can effectively work by having the following components:

  • Cameras and sensors. These components are fitted on the outside of the AR device. The application of optics through sensors has made it possible to collect the real-world interactions of users for further interpretation and processing. The camera on the device visually scans the surroundings to find physical objects and generate three-dimensional models.
  • Processing. Augmented reality devices require CPU, flash memory, GPU, a GPS, RAM, and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi microchip to measure speed, direction, angle, and spatial orientation. Some of these devices may use an accelerometer to measure the speed of the head movements of a user.

  • Projection. A miniature projector in a forward and outward-facing position on an AR device takes data from sensors and projects the digital content onto a surface to view.
  • Reflection. Some AR devices are fitted with mirrors to assist human eyes in viewing virtual images. The reflection paths created are meant to ensure images are properly aligned to the user’s eye.

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