Augmented Reality (AR) is starting to become quite popular. As the technology in our mobile devices evolves, so does the technology of AR. It is starting to be developed out more for things we use in our everyday lives and as a teaching aid. Although the games and social applications are pretty cool also.
AR has been around for some time now. Anyone who has watched a football game has seen it used; the famous “first down” line you see on television is a form of AR. Augmented reality is an addition, or enhancement to existing reality.
Unlike virtual reality which is made up altogether, AR takes the viewers current surroundings and adds layers of images or objects to it. The result is something mind boggling to see. AR has been used in art shows, training simulators and is even used in some cars now.
The BMW seven series uses AR in the form of a heads up display. Some data like speed, gas and other gauge readings are displayed onto the windshield so the driver doesn’t have to take their eyes off the road. AR is used in advertising also.
Several companies are starting to integrate AR in with the products they sell. Nintendo’s 3DS game system uses AR with some of their games now. Hallmark has started using the application with some of the cards they sell. If you hold your card up to your webcam, the images will seem to come to life on your computer screen.
Viewdle is an Android app that looks at Smart phone pictures and scans its data to see if it recognizes anyone from its database of tagged friends. It will suggest who it thinks the photo may be, but ultimately, the user has to approve the tag.
IPad 2 has the AR Magic Mirror application; it imposes hats, masks, hairstyles or other objects onto the user’s face and makes it look like a picture of you actually wearing a particular hat or hairstyle. Look for more apps to be added as the technology evolves.