Augmented Reality (AR) is a medium which can appeal to many of our senses (seeing, listening and reading), but is mostly meant to be experienced alongside reality. AR is used to improve the real world by superimposing information which would otherwise be visible on a smartphone or computer. The big difference is that a lot of information displayed through the AR device is relevant to what the person is looking at or their location. So in essence “augmented reality adds digital information to the world that you can interact with in the same manner that you interact with the physical world.” (Alan B. Craig, “Understanding Augmented Reality, 2013).
AR applications can be seen on today’s smartphones, by utilising the camera on the phone and displaying the world with additional information on the screen. An example is superimposing a picture onto the screen where the camera picks up a certain pattern or combination of colours.
A better implementation of AR can be seen with the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens, glasses equipped with a computer and eyepiece lens display.
AR is not yet an everyday thing for the majority of the public, however it is quickly being adopted in many different areas such as gaming, education and advertising. AR will no doubt change the way we use the web in many different ways. Some of these include:
- AR Social Media applications: showing information about people you meet by using face recognition.
- Advertising: Magazines and billboards with patterns to allow 3D models to be superimposed onto the physical object. This could mean higher sales for suffering mediums (like the above) at present day.
- Education: A popular use of AR at the moment is the creation of “magic books”. Future development could include virtual lab experiments, e.g chemistry.
Possible Subject areas: Computer Vision, Computer Science, Sociology & Psychology.