What is the Definition & Meaning of Augmented Reality or AR?

Augmented reality or widely known as AR is a method to integrate, combine or overlay the real world environment with the computer-generated input. The digital input can be in the forms of graphics, sounds, video, data etc. Normally, the event takes place in the real world environment happens in a real-time manner. The term ‘Augmented Reality‘ is first introduced by Thomas Caudell, a Boeing researcher, in 1990. He used it when referring to the head-mounted display wore by the Boeing workers to put together electrical wiring harnesses for aircraft equipment.

Microsoft HoloLens
Augmented Reality technology called HoloLens from Microsoft.

Augmented Reality (AR) Usage…

The simplest example of the AR application is the sports scores and advertising on the field during a live match on TV. When talking about the more advanced AR technology, the user will be able to interact, modify and manipulate the digital elements of it. Previously, the AR usage is only limited to certain industries such as military, architecture and medical. But now, it is also extends to consumer market as well especially in the advertising, gaming, interior design, navigation, education and others. Perhaps, you have seen the free AR app promotion when you buy a cereal box for your kids. Below is the Youtube video from IKEA on how they used augmented reality to simulate their furniture inside the real house or living room.

How Augmented Reality (AR) Works?

Basically, augmented reality requires a display, processors, apps, sensors and input devices. Nowadays, our smartphones and tablets contains all of these elements. For example, smartphones already have built-in camera and MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors such as GPS, gyroscopes, solid state compass, RFID and accelerometer. The AR apps or software programs can be written using special tools such as FLARToolKit, Unifye Viewer and D’Fusion.

The first AR HMD (Head-Mounted Display) was created in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland by the name of “The Sword of Damocles“. Now, some of the popular or upcoming AR gadgets are Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens. There is also initiative to build the AR capability inside contact lenses. For more info, you can read it at:
1) “Augmented reality” from Wikipedia.
2) “Augmented Reality (AR)” from WhatIs.com.

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