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Augmented Reality (AR)

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The Augmented Reality

The Augmented Reality allows to implement computer generated images in real environments through different kinds of devices. Thus, the tangible physical elements are combined with the virtual elements, creating a new mixed reality. What sets this technology apart from the Virtual Reality is that this allows to add created data from scratch to the existing physical information, which enables the possibility of submerging in a real scenario in an interactive way.There is some useful data worth to be highlighted when using this technology:

 

Technology

The Augmented Reality devices usually includes a headset and a display system
that helps to show the user the virtual information. Also it normally has a GPS system, necessary to locate the user with precision. The modern augmented reality systems use too one or more of this tools: digital cameras, optical sensors, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, solid
state compasses, RFID, etc.

 

Software

For cohesive fusions of real and digital images it is necessary to locate the real world in the coordinate system through an image registry. This process its done in two parts: the first one is about the corners detection, the Blob, the borders, the threshold and the image processing methods; and the second part is related to the coordinates system, that would have to restore it from obtained data in the first phase.

 

D.A.R.T.

Designer's Augmented Reality Toolkit is a programming system, created by Augmented Environments Lab in the Georgia Institute of Technology, to help designers visualize the mix of real and virtual objects. It offers tools, like the Macromedia Director extensions, which allow the coordination of several elements like 3D objects, video, sound, and tracking information of the Augmented Reality information.

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Augmented Reality applications

This are some of the areas in which it has been implemented this technology:

  1. Educational projects.
    Museums, exhibitions or theme parks already offer information about objects, places and even landscapes from the past.
  2. Advertising.
    Quick Response (QR) codes, similar to bar codes, are already being used for this purpose. They can be scanned with a smartphone to offer extra information about a certain product.
  3. Television.
    It is commonly used to broadcast sport events. In football it is used, for example, to show offsides. In swimming, the arrivals to the finish line and new records. In tennis, the outs.
  4. Entertainment.
    The videogame industry is the most popular area in which this technology has been used this past years. Some examples that implement the augmented reality are Pokemon Go, Ingress, ARQuake Project or Can you see me now?
  5. Simulation.
    It can be used to simulate flights or terrestrial paths.
  6. Emergency services or military tactics.
    To show evacuation instructions, maps, enemies, etc.
  7. Arquitecture.
    It enables the opportunity of showing projects under construction over blueprints.
  8. Complex tasks support.
    Useful in assembly or maintenance works, surgeries, etc.
  9. Navigation devices.
    It can improve the space navigation systems.
  10. Industrial applications.
    Helps with digital data of physical models, pilot experiences, prototypes, etc.
  11. Prospection.
    In areas like hidrology, ecology, geology it can be really useful.
  12. Turism.
    Virtual tours through different cities are possible with augmented reality.
  13. Information.
    Pointing the phone towards certain buildings, shops, restaurants, relevant information or special offers can be served at any point in time to the user.
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