What is an Augmented Reality Demo?
Augmented Reality, also known as Mixed Reality, is the future of computing. It is a powerful new tool for creating digital experiences that are true to life. Users will be able to enjoy games, tools, information, and other applications in the same manner as they would in real life. There are many exciting uses for augmented reality technologies. Consider some of these ways, the future of computing could change your life.
You may have seen these videos on YouTube. They are short demonstrations that give a taste of what users could expect from an advanced AR experience. The demonstration puts the user in the scene with a map, a camera, and other basic elements so they can explore the area around their location. The end result is an amazing experience where they are virtually walking through the streets, looking at shops, and feeling very much like they are really there.
Another example of an augmented reality tool is Google Glass. This is a small electronic device about the size of a pea that can be worn on your eyes. It combines the virtual world with real world data, so it acts like a magnifying glass, giving you the ability to read small print, maps, emails, text, and more. The technology is still in its developmental stage, but already many doctors are prescribing Glass to patients with diabetes, eye conditions, and other visual impairments. Even professional drivers could soon be using this software as they make their way through traffic.
Microsoft has taken a similar approach with Project Natal, their attempt at creating a platform for holographic computer applications. What you’ll find is that the demos aren’t very realistic. They present a scene with a sphere in the center, moving around objects using the camera. Users don’t move their eyes, they point with the device, or use a keyboard. However, because the computer is basically displaying the world in front of the person, the effect can be a dramatically rich one.
Google’s effort is much more impressive, because it works on a fundamental principle. In the future, computers will be able to identify and associate a wide variety of things with the images that they see. Think of it as a system of reflexes. Something might trigger a reflex, such as holding your hand over your eyes while you look at a red dot on the screen. In theory, this system will be more intelligent than anything that has so far been developed.
It’s still early days for augmented reality, but developers are already showing very promising results. Google is already working on Project Glass, and Apple is said to be working on a similar application. By the time augmented reality becomes a household term, there will be lots of software to choose from.
Augmented reality is all about combining the physical and digital worlds. For some, this means using the camera to create a 3D image of a location. For others, it means combining voice, video and data. For many people, it means using software to turn an expensive mobile phone or tablet computer into a fully functioning GPS device. As more devices become capable of running software, this concept could revolutionize how we travel and how we use technology.
The future of augmented reality demos is interesting. While a lot of the work is still in the development stages, we can look forward to more sophisticated devices that make use of high-tech optics. We can also expect to see more smart phones with integrated vision systems. Companies that develop software for this technology will have to face stiff competition, as software developers will be hard pressed to provide something better. What will become of augmented reality, then, if it is to live up to all of its potential?