augmented reality

From the 3 September 2009 Economist:

Virtual reality never quite lived up to the hype. In the 1990s films such as “Lawnmower Man” and “The Matrix” depicted computer-generated worlds in which people could completely immerse themselves. In some respects this technology has become widespread: think of all those video-game consoles capable of depicting vivid, photorealistic environments, for example. What is missing, however, is a convincing sense of immersion. Virtual reality (VR) doesn’t feel like reality.

One way to address this is to use fancy peripherals—gloves, helmets and so forth—to make immersion in a virtual world seem more realistic. But there is another approach: that taken by VR’s sibling, augmented reality (AR). Rather than trying to create an entirely simulated environment, AR starts with reality itself and then augments it. “In augmented reality you are overlaying digital information on top of the real world,” says Jyri Huopaniemi, director of the Nokia Research Centre in Tampere, Finland. Using a display, such as the screen of a mobile phone, you see a live view of the world around you—but with digital annotations, graphics and other information superimposed upon it…

…Several AR applications are already available. Wikitude, an AR travel-guide application developed for Google’s Android G1 handset, has already been downloaded by 125,000 people. Layar is a general-purpose AR browser that also runs on Android-powered phones. Nearest Tube, an AR application for Apple’s iPhone 3GS handset, can direct you in London to the nearest Underground station. Nokia’s “mobile augmented reality applications” (MARA) software is being tested by staff at the world’s largest handset-maker, with a public launch imminent…

…Information from social networks, such as Facebook, can then be overlaid on the real world. Clearly there are privacy concerns, but Latitude, a social-networking feature of Google Maps, has tested the water by letting people share their locations with their friends, on an opt-in basis. The next step is to let people hold up their handsets to see the locations and statuses of their friends, says Dr Huopaniemi, who says Nokia is working on this very idea.

Read the entire article here.

1 thought on “augmented reality

  1. alicia

    This is really creative to get this example of all those video-game consoles capable of depicting vivid, photorealistic environments. Great job..Regards

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