What Is Augmented Reality and Could It Replace All Screens?.
Screens are all around us. You are looking at the screen right now. This can be a phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Now imagine that the digital world of the screen was not just an object in the real world. Instead, digital images and data are superimposed and integrated into the space around you. This is not virtual reality, this is augmented reality .
In this article, we will find out what augmented reality is, and can this technology replace all the screen shapes we know today?
What is augmented reality?
The term “augmented reality” means what it says. You supplement the real world around you with some additional information. Heads-up in a modern car or jet fighter is a kind of basic augmented reality. You are looking at the world and information about things like speed or altitude is projected onto your line of sight.
When people use the term augmented reality these days, it usually refers to something more complex. For example, it could be a movie poster coming to life or a complex simulation that gives the impression that fish are floating around the room as if the air around you is suddenly replaced by water.
How does augmented reality work?
Modern augmented reality is of two types: marker and markerless. Marker-based augmented reality requires some kind of prepared object in the real world that tells the program where and when to project virtual images.
The marker can be anything, but often it is a card or a special QR code printed in a magazine. Many older augmented reality games like The Eye of Judgment for the PlayStation 3 and augmented reality games that ship with the Nintendo 3DS used map markers for their augmented reality mechanics.
Apple’s ARKit in Action
These days, thanks to more advanced technology, markers are really unnecessary. Sophisticated machine vision technologies can help you make sense of the world around you. For example, it can recognize flat surfaces such as tables and vertical surfaces such as walls. Accurately projecting digital images onto them. There are many AR apps out there that do this well enough.
The augmented reality software does all the calculations in the background to make the image look correct, solid and based on the real world. These days, they can even take into account the current lighting in a room and blend the projected image with it!
Extended Reality Spectrum
Technologies that can change your perception of reality are starting to multiply. They come in many different types, which means that our language must adapt in order to adapt to them. This is why we have the term augmented reality.
Promotional Image for Microsoft Hololens 2
Augmented reality covers the entire spectrum, from your normal natural worldview, and then moving from augmented reality to mixed reality, to fully immersive virtual reality. Today people tend to use both augmented and mixed reality interchangeably, but mixed reality is usually understood as a more advanced experience that includes real space and objects around you.
Augmented Reality in Real Life
You can try augmented reality right now! If you have an Android or iOS phone, you can download a game like Pokemon Go and see what a digital game character looks like when projected into the real world.
If you have a small mountain of money, you can also try something like Microsoft HoloLens, which is arguably the most advanced augmented reality headset in existence.
The future of augmented reality
There are many interesting augmented reality projects in development that may give us some insight into what augmented reality might look like in the future. The biggest change will be bringing augmented reality from your phone screen to the display device you wear on your head.
Head-mounted augmented reality makes the most sense for technology to flourish. This would be the most natural way to use technology. Some of the most impressive augmented reality applications today use headsets. The problem is that these headsets are big and expensive. You couldn’t wear them all the time.
For augmented reality to truly stand on its own, it must shrink to at least the same size and shape as standard glasses. You probably remember the Google Glass project, which used a tiny projector to display the most basic information in your field of vision. The future augmented reality needs to be at least this compact while still offering proper mixed reality.
While no one knows if this will happen, how or when, we can make some educated guesses. We expect the computer brain of this device to be powered either from the cloud or from a local computer like a smartphone-class device in your pocket.
The display unit itself will likely use very small cameras to track the environment and direct projection onto the retina to actually transmit images to your eyeballs. Retinal projection technology already exists in various forms, and there are AR prototypes in which it is used.
In the very long term, we may see augmented reality delivered through devices like Elon Musk’s Neuralink, but that’s far into the future.
Augmented reality as a universal display device
So, can augmented reality replace every screen you use today? The short answer is yes. Basically, this could be the only digital display system you might need. Eventually, you will be able to create virtual “screens” anywhere. Looking for a massive 100-inch TV? Just let one appear in the right place!
In fact, augmented reality technology is likely to completely destroy the concept of the screen. Perhaps your real desktop could also be your computer’s desktop. Apps can move freely in the space around you in any form that is most useful. Some people may prefer to have their alarm clock look like a real physical alarm clock sitting on a table. Others may like the timing to be more abstract and simply displayed as digital information floating in their field of view.
Lenovo AR Concept Multi-Screen Glasses
In the long term, we may find ourselves in the “world of augmented reality”, where without an augmented reality display, everything would look rather strange to us here and now. Without AR glasses, there would be no billboards, no ads, no signage, no labels on anything! Just as everyone is expected to have a smartphone today, you may need an augmented reality headset to travel the everyday world of the future.
However, for that to happen, we need this AR headset to serve many different roles. For starters, it needs to provide incredibly high resolution images. It should also use the as yet developed universal wireless display standard. So that any device can interact with it. It also needs to be small, lightweight and comfortable. It should cater to both casual and professional users, albeit perhaps not in the same model.
Most importantly, it must effectively disappear from your consciousness! A difficult task, but it would make the world of augmented reality possible.
What Is Augmented Reality and Could It Replace All Screens?
What Is Augmented Reality and Could It Replace All Screens?