Augmented Reality

Topics: Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Simulated reality Pages: 12 (3902 words) Published: June 8, 2013
Augmented reality (AR) has been defined by Barfield and Caudell (2001) as a system in which “a participant wears a see-through display (or views video of the real world with an opaque HMD) that allows graphics or text to be projected in the real world.” Other modalities can be included in AR and information can be subtracted from the real world using augmentation. AR is a computer generated, interactive, three-dimensional environment in which a person is immersed. AR is a field of computer research that combines the actual scene, viewed by the user, and a virtual scene, generated by the computer, that augments the scene with additional information. Augmented reality offers a major advancement for the military’s use of simulation technology. With mobile AR, users will be able to have a personalized training experience anywhere, anytime. AR will be able to support many applications with the same hardware and a core software system. Potential application areas include training, operations, command and control, and decision support.Traditional training systems and contemporary virtual reality are expensive, have large footprints, often require substantial infrastructures to set up and operate, and can have human performance issues related to simulator sickness. These problems need not be present in AR systems. The principal reason is that AR is based in the real world and uses the computer to add information, eliminating some causes of simulator sickness and the need for generating a complete, synthetic world structure. Mobile AR uses GPS, but is otherwise self-contained, so the infrastructure and footprint are reduced. The real world system basis for AR comes with its own challenges such as providing displays with large dynamic brightness range, tracking over a wide area, and creating interactive effects with real world entities and events. Nevertheless, research is underway in many laboratories to mitigate these problems. Augmented Reality was introduced as the opposite of virtual reality: instead of immersing the user into a synthesized, purely informational environment, the goal of AR is to augment the real world with information handling capabilities. AR research focuses on see-through devices, usually worn on the head that overlay graphics and text on the user's view of his or her surroundings. In general it superimposes graphics over a real world environment in real time. An AR system adds virtual computer-generated objects, audio and other sense enhancements to a real-world environment in real-time. These enhancements are added in a way that the viewer cannot tell the difference between the real and augmented world.

Technology has advanced to the point where realism in virtual reality is very achievable. However, in our obsession to reproduce the world and human experience in virtual space, we overlook the most important aspects of what makes us who we are—our reality. Yet, it isn’t enough just to trick the eye or fool the body and mind. One must capture the imagination in order to create truly compelling experiences. On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersible, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptics and smell to the natural world as it exists. You can expect video games to drive the development of augmented reality, but this technology will have countless applications. Everyone from tourists to military troops will benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision. Augmented reality will truly change the way we view the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements...

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