Augmented Reality, what is it and how can you use it?

Augmented Reality, what is it and how can you use it?

What is AR? How does Augmented Reality work? Is it different from VR? Those were questions that popped to my mind when I first heard about the AR. There is a lot of information now about AR in the net. It is getting very popular and there is so many things you can do with it. If there are just the right apps available.


What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is something you add to the real world as a digital content. Easiest way to explain it is Pokémon Go. Well that is simply way. The idea is that you can easily use your mobile phone to see digital content inside the real world. Well not really inside but at least when you look at the world trough your mobile camera you can see digital content in it. Also, there is apps available which can change your own appearance real time.

There is also many companies who are trying to create a AR-glasses that would bring the virtual content on front of your eyes at all time. I think at this time they still look a lot like VR-glasses but in the near future I hope they could make it everyday item. So that you could not tell if they are reading glasses or AR-glasses. The idea with the glasses is that you could wear them everywhere and you would see extra content as you go.


How can AR be used?

Think about selling houses for example. Empty houses are sometimes very difficult to sell. All people cannot see how the layout would work with different items. Now think if it would be possible for the real estate agent to make a virtual furniture inside the house. When the customers come to the house the agent would give them AR-glasses and they could walk around the house and see all the possibilities. At some point all the customers would have their own glasses and they would just download the content and then they would see the agents work.

How about restaurants? Imagine if you could just look at a restaurant when you are passing it by and you could see the star rating of the place and you could even see recent comments about it when you look at it. This would be possible with the AR-glasses. And even if there is no such glasses in the market you could do this by looking through your mobile phone.


How does Augmented Reality work?

Well there is multiple options. At this moment most common options are QR-codes and GPS. There is even now possibilities to point your mobile phone at a QR-code and then the phone will add to the reality some extra content. For example, there might be QR code on front of a mirror. When you use your phones camera to that code, it will show some different clothes that you can wear on the front of the mirror by looking trough your phone.

The GPS option is widely used. It was used on the Pokémon Go. GPS allows the programs to recognize where you are and show you a content that is pointed to that specific place. The restaurant star ratings on your camera would work with GPS for example.

Hololens for AR
Hololens for AR


VR vs AR (Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality)

There is huge different with VR and AR. Well they both are based on the virtual content, but the difference is that with the virtual reality you can only act in the realm of virtual. Not in the real life. The main difference is that with VR-Glasses you will see only the virtual reality (like a game where you shoot with a bow by moving your hands and keeping the VR-glasses on to see around the game). With the AR-Glasses you would all the time see the surroundings as well. AR is made so that you can interact with real world and VR to interact in games and other virtual realities.


Making calls and playing games

Other nice feature with the AR-glasses would be the phone calls. You could make videocalls to your friends and you could see 3d image of your friend on front of you. That would make a huge difference for the normal videocalls. Also think a meeting room empty but still full of virtual people that only the users can see. All of us know how much different it is to talk to people when you see their gestures.

Playing games would change a lot. Take your 10 friends to a bar and sit to the same table. Then just open an app with your AR-glasses and all of you could play some game that would be located on the table. It would no need any real objects, just the virtual ones. The AR-glasses would make it possible for you and your friends to interact with the same virtual objects just by toughing and moving your hand.

I found from YouTube one very good video where Meron Gribetz tells you about the AR-glasses.

If you are interested just check the video below: