Event Tech Case Studies, Applications, Technologies
Category: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory. The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. In this way, augmented reality alters one’s ongoing perception of a real world environment, whereas virtual reality completely replaces the user’s real world environment with a simulated one. Augmented reality is related to two largely synonymous terms: mixed reality and computer-mediated reality.
The primary value of augmented reality is that it brings components of the digital world into a person’s perception of the real world, and does so not as a simple display of data, but through the integration of immersive sensations that are perceived as natural parts of an environment. The first functional AR systems that provided immersive mixed reality experiences for users were invented in the early 1990s, starting with the Virtual Fixtures system developed at the U.S. Air Force’s Armstrong Laboratory in 1992. The first commercial augmented reality experiences were used largely in the entertainment and gaming businesses, but now other industries are also getting interested about AR’s possibilities for example in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the information flood and organizing distant meetings. Augmented reality is also transforming the world of education, where content may be accessed by scanning or viewing an image with a mobile device. Another example is an AR helmet for construction workers which display information about the construction sites.
Augmented reality is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offer perceptually enriched experiences. With the help of advanced AR technologies (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world. This information can be virtual or real, e.g. seeing other real sensed or measured information such as electromagnetic radio waves overlaid in exact alignment with where they actually are in space.
Augmented reality also has a lot of potential in the gathering and sharing of tacit knowledge. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements. Immersive perceptual information is sometimes combined with supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event. This combines the benefits of both augmented reality technology and heads up display technology (HUD).
There are several techniques to display AR. optical projection systems, monitors, handheld devices, and display systems worn on the human body.
There are glasses that give you full-color “apps” that you can check at a glance and helmets that deliver directions in real time as you ride around on your bike or motorcycle. There are also AR headsets that create holograms with a level of interactivity that seems straight out of a science fiction fever.
A heads-up display (HUD) is a computer-augmented display that presents information, data or other visual elements to a user’s focal viewpoint. HUD imaging, or display technology, enables visual data viewing on a transparent glass screen without requiring head/neck shifting or scrolling.
Contact Lenses that directly provide AR for users are still not available although it is widely explored by many of the leading companies in the industry such as Google & Apple. Big strides have been taken to take contact lenses to the next level. Features include image capturing and installation of camera within it. Contact lenses are small and delicate, hence there are many limitations. However, researchers are leveraging on the kinetic energy created through blinking to creating new features.
Virtual Retinal Display
The Virtual Retinal Display (VRD) is a new technology for creating visual images. The VRD creates images by scanning low power laser light directly onto the retina. This special method results in images that are bright, high contrast and high resolution. VRD functions are especially growing in the medical industry, with its large potential medical applications of the VRD, including surgical displays and displays for people with low vision.
An EyeTap is a device worn in front of the eye to act as a camera to either record or display images. EyeTap have been popular for many years, but only recently have AR been incorporated with it.
Handheld devices are ones that can be fit in your hand. With the growing capabilities of the smartphone and their operating systems, AR has unsurprisingly been integrated within several functions and is expected to increase in number of functions over the next generation. Pokemon Go game app has been a revelation, capturing attention of worldwide audiences and recently released AR mode for even greater user experience.
Spatial augmented reality (SAR) augments real world objects and scenes without the use of special displays. Examples include shader lamps, mobile projectors, virtual tables, and smart projectors. Shader lamps mimic and augment reality by projecting imagery onto neutral objects, providing the opportunity to enhance the object’s appearance with materials of a simple unit – a projector, camera, and sensor.
Modern mobile augmented-reality systems use one or more of the following tracking technologies: digital cameras and/or other optical sensors, accelerometers, GPS, gyroscopes, solid state compasses, RFID. These technologies offer varying levels of accuracy and precision. The most important is the position and orientation of the user’s head. Tracking the user’s hand(s) or a handheld input device can provide a 6DOF interaction technique.
Mobile augmented reality applications are gaining popularity due to the wide adoption of mobile and especially wearable devices. However, they often rely on computationally intensive computer vision algorithms with extreme latency requirements. To compensate for the lack of computing power, offloading data processing to a distant machine is often desired. Computation offloading introduces new constraints in applications, especially in terms of latency and bandwidth. Although there are a plethora of real-time multimedia transport protocols, there is a need for support from network infrastructure as well.
Techniques include speech recognition systems that translate a user’s spoken words into computer instructions, and gesture recognition systems that interpret a user’s body movements by visual detection or from sensors embedded in a peripheral device such as a wand, stylus, pointer, glove or other body wear. Products which are trying to serve as a controller of AR headsets include Wave by Seebright Inc. and Nimble by Intugine Technologies.
The computer analyzes the sensed visual and other data to synthesize and position augmentations. Computers are responsible for the graphics that go with augmented reality. Augmented reality uses a computer-generated image and it has an striking effect on the way the real world is shown. With the improvement of technology and computers, augmented reality is going to have a drastic change on our perspective of the real world. Computers are the core of augmented reality.
Ionic integration is the complete open-source SDK for hybrid mobile applications development. Programming languages that support it include CSS, HTML5 and Sass. Typically, Unity is used for games and ionic is used for mobile apps. However, it is possible to integrate both together.
Environmental & Context Design
Public: in which the users uses their whole body to interact with the software.
Personal: in which the user uses a smartphone in a public space.
Intimate: in which the user is sitting with a desktop and is not really in movement
Private: in which the user has on a wearable.
The importance of AR is to ensure the target message is still delivered in a coherent manner. Due to the sophistication of AR, there may be vastly different reactions and interpretations from audiences, hence, causing confusion and alienation. Interaction technology centres on the user’s engagement with the end product to improve the overall user experience and enjoyment.
Finally, the visual design of AR is vital. The purpose of AR is to provide a more realistic portrayal of the content. Therefore, the content has to be visually stunning. Creating AR into a dull, boring or confusing content might emphasize its negatives and backfire.
Augmented Reality covers an extensive range of visual and audio types. For specifics, example 3D or hologram, do check out our other categories for more details.