Augmented reality in a nutshell
September 01, 2016
It seems we're headed towards a future where the phrase my vision is augmented won't just mean that someone is doing the best JC Denton impression.
And I'm not talking about nanotech either I'm talking about augmented reality or AR, that thing that overlays graphics on to your physical surroundings to make the most functional in some way. I mean the only thing I've ever used an AR is like playing with those little cards that came with my Nintendo 3ds this thing actually going to take off?
Although the technology is still relatively new and developers are still working on rolling out applications for it to the masses. More limited examples of AR have been with us for quite a while.
Back in the early 90s AR was mostly used in industrial settings to help with manufacturing processes, but later became well known in the sports world when fans were introduced to the yellow line that marks the first down during a football game, or much more infamously that glowing hockey park with iconic tale that Fox decided was a good idea for some reason.
But after the development of open-source AR code in the late 90s and the advent of small powerful and highly integrated devices such as smartphones smart glasses and even Bionic contact lenses, the AR market well, it is really opening up with developers increasingly searching for ways to make your everyday world a lot more exciting.
So how exactly are they doing this?
For no one's surprise, one way is with games. We've already seen our smartphone games that encourage players to interact with the real world whether it's with like an included remote control dude a door or ingress would be a great example of that as well but imagine like an AR board or tabletop game with virtual pieces that you and your opponent control with your gestures, regardless of whether the other player is, right next to you or a thousand parsecs away safely out of armed ripping off range. Or if you have a PC gamer what about a pair of smart glasses that can connect to your rig to display something like a 3D map of the area your characters in on your desk while the action continues on your monitor and that, but speaking of monitors I mean would you even need one anymore?
We're already seeing our devices such as Microsoft's hole lens that can throw a virtual monitor or TV screen onto a section of the blank wall no projectors required and that can create new ways to design 3d objects. Instead of being confined to a keyboard and mouse smart glasses can allow you to create a 3d model of your project in real size that you can manipulate with your own hands. Like they've done some great demos of this.
And what is time to leave the house an AR windshield in your car can show you directions and street names or assist with breaking and curves and a pair of AR glasses can analyze your surroundings and show you things like pictures of our room in a nearby hotel, reviews of a restaurant you walk past, the plenty of fish profile of that cute girl over there and if you want to know the forecast, it can even alter the sky to show you what your environment will look like tomorrow when it's sunny.