Augmented reality is about embedding digital information to the real world. It is an another platform for communication between people and machines. It is useful to understand the concepts in augmented reality. You’ll then be able to discuss about it and see how it fits into your business.

Augmented reality is currently going through a massive international hype. We have a practical approach to it: There has to be usable content under all the gimmicks and wow-effects.

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

What’s the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality? Some people consider augmented reality to be a subset of virtual reality technologies. Augmented reality brings digital elements close to you in the real world context. Virtual reality takes you away to be a part of a virtual world.

Augmented reality is sometimes defined as its simplest form: Technologies that use only non-aligned visuals and text or a tactile feedback. The term mixed reality then describes the more advanced scenarios. There are no exact definitions and we use the term augmented reality for both of these cases.

Ways to Experience Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is often viewed with a camera overlay on a phone or a tablet screen. Another option is to use a see-through display in smart glasses. You’ll either see the real world via device camera or directly through optics. That view is then augmented with digital information. One of the challenges is to find an easy-to-use way to create content.

What are the ways to bring the digital elements to the real world? Visuals, sounds and tactile feedback. The most common way to do it is 3D graphics on top of a camera screen overlay. This is because it is still the most practical and cost effective way to get results. 

AR video overlay on tablet

AR video overlay on tablet

Welcome to the Real World

Display technologies themselves are not enough to create an augmented reality experience. We need to interpret the world around us to tie our digital data with. The most common ways to do this are computer vision, location services and RFID tags.

Computer vision has several approaches. Digital markers are efficient to recognise. With more processing power available we can identify 2D-images. 3D cameras can laser scan rooms to find the relative position of the device.

I’m sure almost everyone has played Pokémon Go last summer. It gives a clue what location services and device orientation tracking can do. GPS helps to get the outdoor location with a few meter accuracy. Getting an indoor location is a bit more tricky since we can’t get the GPS signal. Technologies used are radio triangulation, compass, gyroscopes, accelerometers and 3D cameras. The best result comes with a combination of these. RFID can be use to identify rooms or objects, but we can’t get any detailed position data with it. 

Our technologies combine several different tracking methods to achieve the best result.

Scanned Area in Blender

 3D scanned room in Blender. We can use it to find our exact position.

What’s next?

The future of augmented reality is in the hands-free portable see-through smart glasses. Such glasses as Metavision or Microsoft Hololens. The current challenges with them are optics, display technology and ergonomy. A see-through smart-glass is more complex and challenging product than a virtual reality helmet. Pinovuo will be providing solutions for these platforms.

AR via see through glasses.

AR via see through glasses.

We can make a difference in how people perceive your Ideas.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.

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