Augmented Reality
Sagar Sharma
By: Sagar Sharma

Augmented Reality – A Peek Inside!

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented), by a computer.

So this was the technical definition of AR. Let’s talk something which a layman can also understand.

AR is something which modifies your real vision. Let’s take this example, you have your mobile, you start the camera and scan your hand and suddenly a small genie pops up into the screen of your mobile. Whoa where did that come from? When you look into the screen of your mobile you can see a genie on the palm of your hand but that’s not the reality. So how did it happen and what was that? That’s what augmented reality is. When we create an illusion of modifying the reality through our technology, that process is the augmented reality.
So now the question arises how did that genie pop in our mobile device? How is it done?
Basically for AR to happen, one needs a device with camera, preferably a mobile or tablet. An AR application scans the object/location/image and then the 3d model pops into our mobile.
AR technology is basically implemented with the help of many types of software. But before we talk about the type of software, let’s first discuss how many types of AR are there.

Basically there are three types of AR.
• Marker Based
• Marker less
• Location-Based

Marker Based AR                                                                                                                            In this type of AR application, the app will scan the image and whenever it comes across the pre-defined marker for the app, it will project the 3d model on top of that image. Marker can be anything from a company’s logo to an image to a QR code. Thus any object or image having that marker will become the target. For marker based AR app to work perfectly, it will need a pre-defined marker to be specified to it. Although this was the first approach that came into existence with AR but now this has become bit redundant, reason being the fact that now AR software have much faster and amazing image processing algorithms. And thus there’s no need of specifying any marker.

 

Marker Less
In this type of AR application, the app will scan any image or object and it won’t require any sort of marker for identification. Thus this approach becomes much easier. App won’t have to search for any marker and thus more options are available for the app. The scope will increase and it won’t be limited to some specific type of marker based image or picture. In this type app will scan the image or object based on the edges and texture. Undoubtedly this becomes a harder approach for the app but as mentioned earlier AR software have great image processing algorithms now and thus that is not an issue to worry about.

Location based
In this type of AR application, the app will scan the location instead of image. It will use the GPS services to locate the exact location of the user. Many applications require the user to go to a certain location and then the AR effects happen.
After discussing the types of AR, let’s now discuss how an AR app is made. There are many types of software available today in the market to develop an AR app. These apps might be designed and made for various platforms as well.

For example:one might develop an app specifically for iOS or for android platform.

List of software available:
• Vuforia
• Metaio
• Junaio
• D’fusion
• Layar