In 1945, an articles Published by title “AS WE MAY THINK” stating the prediction for a futuristic networked machine similar to today’s Internet enabled device also called a MEMEX. A MEMEX is a device in which an individual can store all his books, records and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. This goes on to show many expert may not be surprised by the fact that technology has gone forward multifold in today’s world and if it can be used in a way it was thought to be, it could really contribute to extensive development.
This technology in today’s world is also called “AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)”. AR has the potential to act as a harbinger of future hi-tech transformations whilst irrevocably altering the basic nature of everyday life.
If you have even a fleeting familiarity with sci-fi pop culture, you’ve probably been exposed to the concept of AR via two of the most hackneyed references in cinematic history. The first comes from the movie Minority Report, where imagery is nonchalantly flung onto translucent screens via gloved gestures, and personalized advertorials bombard consumers.
This depiction echoes the 1990s version of AR – “Virtual Reality” – complete with a light-enhanced version of the data glove (though not the standard clunky headset). Virtual Reality is widely considered a precursor to AR, in that it engineers environments or spaces devoid of anchors to the physical world. Users participate in these simulated spaces with the intent of becoming completely absorbed in a Virtual Reality scenario, minus distractions that would pull users out of such worlds.
Virtual Reality is described as tech that encourages users to engage in completely immersive computer-generated arenas (often including Mixed Reality setups), rather than AR experiences which present digital enhancement through overlaps with – or over – the physical world. Confusingly, both AR and Virtual Reality share key elements that allow users to experience enhanced interactions through digital and online input, and often the terms are used interchangeably: with the increasing advancements of gesture-based interfaces, distinctions between Virtual Reality and AR are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
The second film-based reference that’s inevitably trotted out when describing AR is from the movie Terminator, where a character is embedded with a HUD (Heads-Up Display) unit that continually scrolls updated data through a visual overlay. To continue this slightly-abused sci-fi referencing theme in regards to AR, we may as well throw in William Gibson’s character of Molly Millions, with her “Mirror shade” inlays giving her enhanced vision similar to the point-of-view display used in the Terminator. Although HUD units are far from new technology – having originated in the military – they are also being put to good use in existing AR applications. Pioneer has designed a car navigation system that merges AR with a HUD, combining projected mapping and navigational data on a plastic sleeve mounted before the driver-side windshield. Such an application of HUD-based AR has multiple uses, especially in regards to practical learning.
The potential for AR to impact all elements of our lives is massive: from education to gaming to manufacturing, the world seems poised on the brink of substantial AR adoption – with all associated benefits. A study also determined that in 2014, approximately 864 million mobile phones will be AR-ready, and in excess of 100 million vehicles will come equipped with AR tech. Though this stat has not yet been met, but we won’t be devoid of this stat achievement for long. And there comes that old fine line of using such advanced technology in a way we don’t succumb ourselves to it. Yes these technologies have high end potentials but to be able to use it to our advantage may well serve as a step to contribute to its evolution and betterment in days to come.