A live view of a physical, real-world environment, augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound actions or graphics is termed as augmented reality (AR). Augmented reality must have the following three characteristics, i.e.
The scope of AR includes various ‘enabling technologies’ which enable the Augmented Reality technology to function the way it does. The enabling technologies mentioned are described below:
Brief History of AR
It all started in the year 1968 when the first head-mounted display system was designed and developed by Ivan Sutherland. He is considered as the ‘father of computer graphics' and he held his stance by creating the first ever virtual reality system named ‘The sword of Damocles’. The next big milestone in the history of augmented reality is the creation of an artificial reality laboratory called ‘The Videoplace by Myron Kreuger. The idea behind it was to create an artificial reality that surrounded the users and responded to the actions and movements, putting them in an interactive environment, without requiring any objects like gloves or goggles etc. After all the advancements in the field, the term ‘Augmented Reality’ was coined in the year 1990 by Tom Caudell. One of the earliest AR systems was built for Air Force, to allow the military to control the guided machinery to perform activities, from a remote operating base. Following many other advancements and milestones, augmented reality has finally taken the shape of what it is today. The investments in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality have reached $1.1 billion (as per Huffingtonpost.com data) by the year 2016.
Application of AR
Today, AR has a multitude of applications in different fields of business and industries.
Augmented reality is the future of a seamless efficient workplace. AR aids in improving collaboration of systems and enables easy and hands-free access to data. It completely redefines certain experiences and functions of workplace such as training, design, and field service. AR is being developed to power future workplaces as it is the undisputed alternative when it comes to dynamically change the person’s field of view while they are performing a task, and it is claimed that there is a 30% efficiency increase in time while performing a task, when information is in the employee’s field of view.
The future seems promising when it comes to widening the avenues for AR applications. AR sees major utility and application in the field of tourism and navigation. Although investments and R&D levels are increasing for developing augmented reality systems, there are certain limitations to this field in terms of portability and outdoor use, tracking and calibration in unprepared environments, latency, less data density to handle huge data, adaptation and long-term use and social acceptability on a mass level. AR has come a long way since 1968 but there is a lot more that can be worked on to make AR the ultimate breakthrough!