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Definition: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is a kind of virtual reality that tends to duplicate the real world environment in a computer system. In an augmented reality system, a real view as perceived by the user is combined with a virtual view as generated by a computer along with some additional information.
The basic aim of augmented reality is to create an environment wherein the user cannot differentiate real scene and the augmented version of it. In a way, it is enhancing the user’s sensory perception of the unreal world he/she is interacting with. The artificial information of the environment is superimposed on the real world and the information of the real world in turn becomes more interactive and tractable. The camera of the cell phone (mostly smartphones) interprets a marker which is nothing but a barcode image. The augmented reality software on examining the marker, creates a virtual image on the phone’s screen which is actually tied with the camera’s position. Thus the app works in combination with the camera to comprehend the angles and the distance the phone is from the bar code. There is a wide application for augmented reality technology like entertainment, robotics, engineering design, architecture, art, education, gaming, medical devices, sports etc. There are a few limitations associated with augmented reality. One of them could be the use of GPS which works accurately only up to a distance of 30 feet and doesn’t work indoors. There can be security concerns as well, for example people may use the augmented reality software to point to strangers and immediately get to know about them by their Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter profiles.
Google Glass is an example of augmented reality product which looks like a pair of glasses but can be used to take pictures, send messages and use the global positioning system technology as well.
The user sees the real world environment and perform multiple activities with the glasses. TryLive a website used for online shopping is another instance of augmented reality. Here the buyer can actually try things like clothes, shoes, jewellery before buying.