Video games have been entertaining us since the early 1970s. Computer graphics have become more developed and seem to be real. In the next decade researchers are planning to pull graphics out of the screen and integrate them into the real world. This new technology, known as AUGMENTED REALITY will further reduce the distinction between real objects and that is generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and even smell.
AUGMENTED REALITY-A NEW WAY OF SEEING
If our computer systems are extrapolated from current systems, we can imagine a rapid growth high resolution displays ranging from tiny wrist-worn watches to large screens built into large walls, floors and screens.Computer scientists introduce augmented reality as a different kind of user interface, which will have a more profound effect on the way in which we develop and interact with the future computers.
There are three major components that constitute an augmented reality system: head mounted display, tracking system and mobile computing power. Aim of augmented reality developers is to incorporate all these components into one unit that housed in a belt-worn or wrist-worn device that wirelessly relays information into a display which resembles an ordinary pair of glasses.
Augmented reality systems will found applications in all areas of life from industries, medical applications, surgery, entertainment, education, military, space, engineering, and computer aided design etc.
- Medical applications : Augmented reality can bring geometric model of internal human structures acquired in medical scanners such as MRI, CT etc into the operating room. Doctors can use this information to plan and guide their surgery.
- Instant information :Tourists and students could these systems to learn more about a certain historical events, like walking onto a civil war battlefield and seeing a re-creation of historical events on a head mounted, augmented reality display.
- Military : Military has been devising the uses for augmented reality. It can provide troops with vital information about their surroundings such as entrances on the opposite end of a building like X-ray vision.
- Industrial plant maintenance : Suppose a maintenance personnel is trying to find a pipe with certain measurements among a jungle of pipes, with the use of an augmented reality display measurements can be superimposed on the adjustable video image to help him to identify the correct pipe.
- Education : This technology will create large developments in the field of education because it works by overlaying real experiences on top of a person’s local environment. Students could learn anatomy by walking through a human body and observing functioning of biological systems. And the best application comes when the students are allowed to interact with projected characters. This level of reality requires tremendous computational power and this can be accomplished with the help of real-time vision recognition technology and voice recognition.
Augmented reality system will have great importance in future. PC screens may be expanded into real environment; windows and icons appear as virtual devices in real space and can be operated by just pointing or gazing. Replacement of cell phone and car navigator screens: eye-dialling, insertion of information etc may be possible. With AR systems getting into mass market we may see virtual window dressings, wall posters, traffic signs and more and more. These may be fully interactive even at distances by eye pointing.