Augmented Reality: A Reality different from Virtual Reality

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 computer-mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. Augmented reality enhances one’s current perception of reality, whereas in contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as overlaying supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event.

Augmented Concept
On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world -- or at least the way its users see 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 will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head.

AR as used in Pokemon Go by Niantic Inc.

Difference between AR, VR and MR

Virtual reality is able to transpose the user. In other words, bring us some place else. Through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere.
Augmented and virtual reality have one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ, is the perception of our presence.
Virtual reality is able to transpose the user. In other words, bring us some place else. Through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere.

Virtual Reality Concept
Putting a VR headset over your eyes will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within. The immersion is actually quite dramatic, with some users reporting feelings of movement as they ascend a staircase or ride a rollercoaster within the virtual environment.
Augmented reality however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply "augments" our current state of presence, often with clear visors. Seen below, Samsung is near ready to introduce its Monitorless AR glasses, which would connect to phones or PCs via WIFI and replace the screen on those devices.

With virtual reality, you can swim with sharks. And with augmented reality, you can watch a shark pop out of your business card.
While VR is more immersive, AR provides more freedom for the user, and more possibilities for marketers because it does not need to be a head-mounted display.

Mixed reality (MR)—sometimes referred to as hybrid reality—is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Mixed Reality Concept: A mix of AR and VR
Mixed reality is an overlay of synthetic content on the real world that is anchored to and interacts with the real world—picture surgeons overlaying virtual ultrasound images on their patient while performing an operation, for example. The key characteristic of MR is that the synthetic content and the real-world content are able to react to each other in real time.

Hybrid/Mixed Reality Headset Concept By Google
Of all the realities we’ve talked about in this article, mixed reality seems like the furthest from fruition. However, it’s not impossible to imagine a future where synthetic content will be able to react to and even interact with the real world in some way.

Credits:
Google's Mixed Reality
Augmented Reality Concept
Niantic Inc. Website
Virtual Reality by Wikipedia

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