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What Is Augmented Reality?

It’s highly unlikely that you haven’t already heard of the term augmented reality. These days, there’s quite a buzz over this term, so we’ve decided to break things down and explain what augmented reality actually means.

Let’s start by explaining that augmented stands for enhanced and improved. Therefore, when we’re talking about augmented reality, we’re actually talking about enhanced reality. In fact, this is a type of reality where sounds, graphics, and touch are added to our reality, with the aim of improving it.

How Does It Work?

The purpose of having an augmented reality is to use the existing environment and enrich it with additional virtual information. Essentially, the idea is to use virtual information as an assisting tool in our everyday lives.

For instance, augmented reality will be of great help when driving. Imagine not having to look at your smartphone for directions. Instead, the virtual information will be right in front of your eyes, coexisting with your natural environment.

What Happens Behind the Scenes?

Now that you have a basic idea on what is supposed to play out in front of your eyes, let’s explain what will allow this to happen. It’s possible to display the augmented reality, also known as AR, on a number of displays, such as monitors, screens and glasses. However, this is still the beginning of it. What the future holds is less hardware. So there are plans on creating contact lenses which will allow its users to enjoy the perks of AR without burdening them with bulky glasses or similar pieces of equipment.

Let’s take a step back and stick to what we have now — the heavy glasses. These work thanks to sensors that have the role of gathering interactions of the user with the real world. Then, these interactions are sent further to be interpreted and processed. In addition to sensors, there are a number of tiny cameras that have the role of visually scanning the real environment. All the information that the sensors and the cameras take serves to determine what kind of a digital output the device needs to create and display.

How to Control AR?

Another thing that must interest you about AR at this point is how you can control it. So let’s dig right into it!

You can control the augmented reality devices by touching a pad or by saying voice commands. The device has a touchpad that is easy to reach. Basically, by tapping it or using the swipe motion, you can control the AR device. Alternatively, there’s a possibility to control it with your voice, which works pretty much in the same manner as it works now on smartphones.

For instance, if you wish to take a picture of what you’re looking at, you could simply tap the touchpad or say a vocal command to your AR device.

Final Thoughts

Bottom line is that augmented reality is just one of the multiple reality technologies. The idea behind it is to overcome smartphones, tablets and iPads.

One thing’s for sure, AR’s growth is rapid and steady. This technology will bring the virtual world into the real one. Hence, everything we hear, feel, and see with AR will be far richer and better. We must admit that the future with AR sounds rather exciting and we can’t wait to experience it!

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