Augmented Reality

What exactly is Augmented Reality?

With the recent population growth to some mobile applications, many people are looking to have questions answered about augmented reality. Similarly, when people hear "augmented reality", they consider virtual reality as well. These are two very different things, as virtual reality creates a whole new world. Augmented reality incorporates the world around you. This could be putting a virtual hat on the cat standing in front of you. Or it could be pretending to be in a different backdrop than the one you're actually in. There are many different things that augmented reality users can do. With or without actual glasses.

Augmented reality is, essentially, enhancing the real world. It takes your images and surroundings and modifies them accordingly. From image filters on Snapchat and video games to other environments like displaying the HUD on your car windscreen. It's becoming more and more popular since the introduction of Pokemon GO, which uses augmented reality. With augmented reality, you'll be in the same place on screen as you are in the real world. However, the things around you won't be the same. That's the ideal of the design. It's a fun way to keep your reality, but kick it up a notch.

Many people who use the augmented reality technology enjoy use of their glasses as well. These glasses appear similar to the virtual reality headsets, but the view is different. Since augmented reality incorporates the real world, instead of overriding it.

So what kind of augmented reality glasses are available? What's the price range?

Well, there are many different kinds, as mentioned, and they’ll be added to the site soon. They range in size and shape and in purpose. There are new models coming forward onto the market that promise to change the face of augmented reality altogether. Unfortunately, this cutting edge technology won't come cheap. These glasses and headsets range from $500-$3000. That's quite a jump from the virtual reality glasses that are minimal and cost effective. However, it's easier to create a whole new world than it is to incorporate the real one.

All the same, let's look at some of the types of augmented reality and what their uses are:

Head-mounted; These look like the traditional virtual reality headsets. They are worn over your head, almost like a headband, with pieces extending over your eyes. They are often large and bulky.
Eyeglasses; These are exactly as they sound – eyeglasses that replicate the same images as you would see on any other type of device. They are worn just like sunglasses and are sleek and lightweight.
HUD; These are designed to show information panels. If you've ever played a first person shooter or sandbox game, you know all about the HUD. If you're not familiar, this is displaying things like how many lives you have left. Even Mario Bros had an HUD that showed your lives, coins, and the amount of the time you had to beat the level. Imagine being able to see your directions in your car right on top of your windscreen.

Pokemon GO is a great example of augmented reality, mostly because everyone knows what it is. You see the Pokemon you can capture out in the real world. Your city, your home. But, of course you know the Pokemon aren't literally standing in front of you.

There are other smart phone applications that use this same technology as well, and why not? It's so cutting edge and it is exciting to have reality spliced with fantasy.

But augmented reality isn't limited to the ultimate gaming experience alone. Many photo and video editors, and even car and jet manufacturers are using the augmented reality technology too. Snapchat, as a popular example, uses on screen overlays to add features to your photos that don't really exist. Everyone has seen the “dog face” selfies. This is a perfect example. It's clear most of the users taking those pictures are not literally wearing dog faces. Nor are they wearing flower headbands. But by using augmented reality to overlay photos, users can be wearing whatever they want. They can also be anywhere in the world with anyone they want.

This type of technology is also great for advertising. There are many applications that allow users to scan a poster or magazine advertisement and bring up more information. This is considered use of augmented reality because it shows a display of information over an existing image.

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