augmented reality

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You have often read the catchphrase “augmented reality”, but don’t really know what it means?

Don’t worry; the word sounds more complicated than it is.

It is very simple:

We’ve read the words “augmented reality” for years, but can’t quite imagine what it means and so we associate it with technology and science-fiction. And really, it is a foolish phrase. At the same time, augmented reality is already part of our everyday life:

Have you ever seen a football match on TV and wondered and rejoiced about the inserted and ever incorrupt offside line:

That is augmented reality. Very simple!

A computer-generated image overlaps an actual, real situation. Reality can be enriched via a screen that way. 

In this case it is about more specific information that could not be perceived with unaided eyes. The digitally enhanced world allows more varieties as well:

Augmented reality is no sorcery, but already reality.

And the racing technological developments don’t just give more and more people the opportunity to explore a digitally enhanced reality on the go (smartphones, tablets), but to you the chance to employ it without insurmountable effort.

Therefore it can be profitable to deal with augmented reality and to find out more about the possibilities (our explore yourself!): 

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Augmented reality is universal.

In many areas, augmented reality is already successfully implemented to provide aditional information. There are few situations in which we cannot imagine to wish for more and more precise information; in which we want it as easily as possible or to have just a little more fun.

Augmented reality can do all that and with increasing distribution of smartphones and tablets, it will encash it even more. 

Typical fields of application that have already been realized without a sexpartite budget are (without claim to be complete ;-)):

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What makes augmented reality so interesting (apart from the already existing possibilities and solutions) is the racing technological development, the distribution of this technology as well as the societal usage and the consequential change.

Treffpunkt Idee doesn’t have a (functioning :-)) crystal ball. The past teaches us that experience value can be extrapolated, but there is always something in the future no one could have foreseen.

Nevertheless, it pays off to monitor developments, to draw one’s own conclusions and to try to actively help create the future.

Even though augmented reality has been in use for many years, it is still considered a technology of the future.

Why is that so?

So far the technology could only be used in a limited way and for specific areas and was therefore only utilized in niche markets. The reasons are found in the expensive technology that was needed to accumulate reality with augmented reality (special equipment, computer) as well as in the elaborate manufacturing method of the needed software.

In both areas the technology is so far developed that augmented reality is possible for the mass market and even medium-sized companies and small size business owners can should the budget for the creation of corresponding contents.

On the side of the manufactures a few standard solutions for example by metaio, t-immersion, qualcomm or layar have established themselves. With their help it is possible to produce augmented reality applications economically.

On the side of the user smartphones and tablets have spread (most of them are AR-enabled) and our behavior and our demands change thusly. Just change:

TNS-mobile-Nutzung

To make the development obvious, the above numbers are expressed in percentage.

As already mentioned, current smartphones and tablets are AR.-enabled.

But are these possibilities made use of by the users? 

In the case of this question it pays off to look at the technology that allows us now to obtain digital additional information from real objects: QR- Codes. To put it crudely, it is the predecessor technology from a time when our smartphones were not yet AR-enabled.

List of sources:

http://mghus.com/

http://www.burson-marsteller.com/default.aspx

http://heidicohen.com/qr-code-data/

http://static.aws3.mobioid.com/files/pdf/The-Naked-Facts-2H2010.2.pdf

http://www.youscan.me/blog/statistics/qr-codes-usage-stats-for-the-first-half-of-2011/

http://www.derhandel.de/news/technik/pages/POS-Technologie-Die-Zukunft-des-Einkaufens-wird-smarter-9045.html

Prospect:

It seems likely that the usage of augmented reality via smartphone and tablet will experience a similar, if not more rapid increase in everyday life.

And that despite the fact that we have to use our smartphone as a “crutch” for it.

An even profounder change in the usage of augmented reality is going to take place when we carry the screen (e.g. with glasses) directly and without our active cooperation in front of our eyes and are able to control the device with gestures or speech.

At the latest, augmented reality will be everyday life and will be used just like we use the TV or the internet today.

For this reason it is important to set the course today, to gather experiences and to actively create this future.

We gladly support you!

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There are various techniques (they can be combined, too) to position the computer-generated image into the actual situation as appropriately as possible:

 

Location based AR:

The computer-generated image is dependent on the whereabouts of the observer. That way additional information e.g. about the current surroundings can be displayed:

junaiolbs

For this technique the GPS from our mobile devices is used.

 

Object based AR:

The computer-generated image is dependent on an image or an object which is in front of the observer’s camera.

This image or object is usually called marker and by now there are many possibilities what such a marker can be. The most popular markers nowadays are images.

It is possible to cover a large field with image markers when one thinks about how many things are printed on these days and these are all potential markers fpr augmented reality as well:

Augmented-reality-Sunsystem

On this image a simple print-out serves as a marker and objects can be projected onto random positions.

Not only images, but forms can function as a marker as well. That way it is possible to digitally enhance unprinted objects. This technique works very well to enhance architectural prototypes, e.g. with digital information or to visualize conventional manuals directly onto the real product and show where something belongs together.

 

Motion based tracking

This technique is trickier, but it will quickly develop further as well. Cameras can recognize certain movements, e.g. from hands or from the face in front of the camera and they can determine e.g. the exact position.

It is for example also possible to control a device without any touch or spoken command, so somewhat more natural. Furthermore it is possible to e.g. project virtual objects onto a precise position on the face or soon also on the body and to perfect virtual fitting that way. An interesting possibility and not just for online shops.

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