When I was younger I wanted to be many things.
One of those things was a magician ✨
I wanted to pull rabbits out of hats and make things disappear with a simple
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo
(for all my fellow Disney enthusiasts)
As an aspiring magician, I read magic books 📚 and practiced my hand at mastering the magical arts.
My hope was to become the next Hermione Granger, but I didn’t know that magic didn’t really just work with the flick of a wand or a magic word.
The rabbit didn’t disappear when I put it back in the hat, neither did anything else in any of my magic tricks.
It was all about illusion.
Fast forward several years and I found a new interest:
And technology is often just like magic. Recently, I found one that can make things appear where they don’t really exist.
And it’s part of the world of mixed realities.
Mixed reality is the merging of two worlds.
The real world + the digital world = the mixed reality
The real world is our reality. The one we live in… right now.
The digital world is made up of several different areas: virtual reality, augmented virtuality, and augmented reality.
The continuum of the hybrid world looks like this:
This article’s focus is on the magic/technology behind augmented reality and some of its applications in the real world.
What’s Augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is the interactive experience when a computer-generated or augmented object resides in the real world.
And if you have a phone I’m 90% sure you’ve encountered AR before:
- using the puppy dog filter (or any other filter) for your Snapchat streaks
- catching Pikachu in Pokemon Go
- scanning a QR code
- and several other AR applications
This technology is really awesome and has a ton of potential to influence many major industries.
Now you see me, now you don’t.
One second the augmented rabbit is in front of you, then you move your tablet and it’s gone.
And I don’t know about you, but I think magic can come in handy in a lot of areas.
Before we can leverage this awesome technology, we have to understand how it works.
How does AR Work?
Augmented reality works by combining computer-generated objects and the real world.
An application is made up of AR objects attached to a cloud database and uses cloud recognition to place objects in the real world when something called an image target is recognized by the engine.
The application uses image recognition to sense the surroundings and determines where to place a virtual object.
And that’s how AR works at a high level. There are many other components that an AR developer would have to take into consideration when developing an application, such as positioning of objects, image keys, and several others.
AR has a lot of cool applications and cool companies working on it.
Here are some of them:
When Niantic released Pokemon Go in 2016, I remember being addicted for days. At the time, I had no idea what augmented reality was and that Pokemon Go utilized it.
As mentioned earlier, I’m sure many of you use Snapchat quite often to send streaks or maybe just to try out the cool filters.
Well guess what?
Snapchat is an augmented reality app! 😎
To make these filters appear as if they are on your face, Snapchat uses image recognition to generate a map of your face. I will be writing an article all about how Snapchat filters work and are made… so stay tuned 😉
The infamous Google has ventured into the AR space many times. Not all of these times have been successful 😬
When Google Glass was first announced in 2013 every thought it was going to be HUGE.
However, their augmented reality glasses weren’t all they were hyped up to be and ended up being an AR bust.
Now Google maps is working on more software related AR projects. On Google ARCore developers can develop AR applications.
Google is also working on smaller projects like adding augmented reality to Google Maps 🤔
These look like normal glasses right?
These glasses by North called: “Focals” are augmented reality glasses 🕶️
They are both stylish and practical. However, the applications are limited.
Current capabilities include:
- A navigation system
- Answering texts
The technology isn’t that far yet, but it’s definitely a step 👣 in the right direction!
Microsoft’s Hololens is an augmented reality headset with loads of applications. From visualizing a product in the business world to assisting the US Army in combat training. All really cool applications and those are just a few of them.
What does the future of AR look like?
Since technology is exponential 🚀 we can’t conceive of what the future will look like. However some cool ideas are:
- Using augmented reality in astronaut helmets → this is a project I am currently working on
- AR glasses will be the norm and everyone has them
- AR in classrooms to help kids with dyslexia 👓
- Many more… who knows what’s next
- Augmented reality (AR) is when you have virtual objects in the real world.
- AR components include: image targets and computer-generated objects in a database.
- There are tons of cool applications for AR, ranging from business to healthcare.
- There are also several cool companies in the space including: Microsoft, North, and Snapchat.
- AR is an exponential technology so we can’t predict the future.
Augmented reality is not magic, but it’s a super cool technology that has the potential to disrupt many industries. Learning how to build awesome technologies like augmented reality is basically like having magic. There is so much you can do with technology. The future of AR is up to us. We’ve still got a long way to go, but I know it’s going to be really amazing when we get there. Oh and I almost forgot… if we mess up some of our AR applications along the way, we have no need to worry as our creating is not really there. One second you see it the next you don’t.
If you enjoyed this article:
- Share it with your network
- Give it some claps and feedback in the comments
- Follow my Medium blog for more articles like this one.
- Connect with me on Linkedin to stay updated on my virtual & augmented reality journey, and shoot me a message (I love meeting new people).
- Follow me on Twitter.
- Check out my TKS Life Portfolio, for all my past newsletters & projects.
- Subscribe to my newsletter, for monthly updates on what I’m working on!
Thanks for reading! Now go change the world! ❤