What is augmented reality (AR)

What had been said many decades ago, is still a valid approach towards teaching and learning, especially something novel to the existing concepts.

“Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Einstein

Augmented reality (AR) is here for some time now, but still majority (from noobs to techies) take it as a new buzzword, something impossible to grasp, or currently too shaky to take it seriously.

It’d be in everybody’s top interest to get (at-least) the basic understandings of augmented reality as soon as possible, as sooner or later it’ll going to be an indispensable part of our daily lives. Here I am starting with the simplest possible explanation of augmented reality, “it is a type of virtual reality, where we combine our real-world view with some computer-generated view”.

For example, while driving you end-up in a new (never been there before) street, with no idea of any entry and exit points whatsoever, at that very moment your are completely lost OR hypothetically speaking you’ve an AR app in your device (cell-phone, tablet), you launch (open) the app, and it’s quite like the default camera app, which you have used so many times. Point your device (with the app running already) towards the street, in a moment it’ll display different tags/points through the street (on your device’s display only), indicating certain entry points to inner streets, exit points to main road, or any popular spot, etc. At that point you’ll think of nothing else, but making your way back to the main road, but once calm-ed you’ll be eager to know, how it was made possible. Here’s why you were able to saw those blips/tags/points, back in time someone has mapped that specific information to that specific street (computer devices take it just as a digital image).

During the past few years, lot of research and development has been done in AR i.e. number of augmented reality apps in production, properly funded AR R&D centers, etc.
The possibilities for augmented reality application are nearly endless. From device-based to wearable, the best (and the latest) example which comes to mind is ‘Google Glass’.

Keeping the above example in mind, in case of a wearable-device (i.e. Google Glass), you don’t even have to pick and point your device to the street in front, instead you’ll have those informative blips appeared, the very first glance you put on the street, Brilliant!.

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