What is augmented reality…
Augmented reality is an interactive technology that superimposes digital imagery over the physical world. Typically, this content is viewed through a camera of some sort, thus the technology has become quite popular for mobile devices. Augmented reality is becoming a common component in gaming and marketing, with its interactive features garnering acclaim amongst a wide range of consumers. The technology has been seeing practical uses as well, finding uses in industries including medicine, construction, and space travel.
Augmented reality is often considered an emerging technology, but it is actually older than many people think. The technology was first developed in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland, who created a full-fledged augmented reality system for Harvard University. After a stint of popularity, augmented reality faded away from mainstream attention, finding a home with NASA and other agencies of the U.S. government. Part of the reason augmented reality was so poorly received was because of the lack of computer hardware that could support the technology.
Computer hardware has come a long way since the late 60′s and now augmented reality is gaining more attention. With the advent of mobile technology, such as smart phones and tablets, augmented reality is seeing more attention than it ever has in the past. Today’s smart phones are capable of handling the high demands of augmented reality, thus application developers are devoting more attention to the technology. The vast majority of these applications are for entertainment, but some also have practical purposes.
Beyond applications, augmented reality is gaining traction in the game industry. Companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft are developing augmented reality systems for next generation game platforms and titles. Nintendo’s Wii U, for instance, boasts of augmented reality technology in its controller, allowing gamers to interact games in a more dynamic fashion. Both Sony and Microsoft are working to build augmented reality into their new consoles, as well, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720, respectively.
Famed technology giant Google has become a big name in the world of augmented reality. The company is part of the reason augmented reality is getting so much attention today. In early 2012, Google unveiled Project Glass, an effort to build augmented reality eyewear. Google had hopes that Project Glass would help bring augmented reality into the mainstream, but the technology has proven difficult to work with. Several other companies, Microsoft included, are now working on similar projects that could cast Project Glass into obscurity.
Augmented reality is garnering a great deal of attention from many industries all over the world. As computer technology becomes more advanced, augmented reality is expected to play a major role in many of these industries. The technology has already won the hearts of many consumers around t he world, a trend that is expected to continue well into the future.