You must first comprehend the history of augmented reality (AR) in order to comprehend its modern applications. Since the 1960s, AR has been used in lab settings, but over the past few years, it has made remarkable technological and social advancements. A few decades ago, when it was used in amusement park rides or 4D movie theatres that use water, air, sound, lights, or movement to create immersion, augmented reality (AR) made a big leap into public spaces. But the processing power in modern smart devices is what has really caused AR to take off in recent years (and why everyone is talking about it). This fact, combined with the portability of smartphones, has untethered AR and allowed for the appearance of augmented experiences in fascinating new settings.
Using augmented reality to view product previews or coupons can make even the most routine shopping trip more enjoyable. It is also capable of improving accuracy in complex situations, such as superimposing surgical directions on the body of a patient to serve as a guide through a procedure that could save their life. There is a common misunderstanding that augmented reality is the same as virtual reality (VR). The two are not the same, despite the fact that their histories of development contain some commonalities. The difference between these both real is that the former creates a sense of immersion in a fabricated setting, while the latter enhances or intensifies an experience that takes place in the real world by superimposing additional information on top of it. To put it another way, virtual reality intends to take the place of the real world, whereas augmented reality intends to supplement it.
Because augmented reality can have such a wide range of applications, from the consumer level all the way up to the commercial level, it is attractive to virtually every sector. The virtual reality and augmented reality industries saw record levels of investment in 2017, which was estimated to total $3 billion. Before we jump into the main topic which is the different types of augmented reality, lets discuss why augmented reality is crucial and the history of AR.
The following statistics provide strong evidence of this:
- By 2023, Statista estimates that the global market for augmented reality will be worth 18 billion dollars.
- According to Statista, both of these reality combined are expected to account for 37.4% of spending in 2020.
- By 2022, there will be about 3.5 billion AR users, according to Poplar’s 2020 AR report. According to the same study, 83.1 million people are anticipated to use augmented reality at least once per month.
- Around 63% of online shoppers said AR has improved their shopping experience, according to eCom Dash.
- From 2018 to 2025, small and medium-sized businesses are anticipated to invest 66.40% more in augmented reality and virtual reality.
History of augmented reality
During the period from 2018 to 2025, it is anticipated that investments in augmented and virtual reality will grow at a CAGR of 66.40% among small and medium businesses.
Sensorama, created by cinematographer Morton Heilig, is regarded as one of the earliest concepts of augmented reality. This immersive, multi-sensory device, dubbed the “Cinema of the Future,” replicated the look and feel of a running film.
The Sensorama was an iridescent device with colour palettes, display films, odour emitters, a studio sound system, and a motion chair that was first patented in the US in 1962. People peeking into it to simulate natural occurrences like sunlight, winds, or rain.
Sword of Damocles, 1968
The first head-mounted AR device was developed not long after Heilig was created by two well-known US scientists, Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull. The “Sword of Damocles” was the name given to it. It had to be suspended from the ceiling because it was so big.
The output of a manually coded computer programme was displayed by The Sword of Damocles as virtual data overlays. Additionally, as the user moved their head, it layered 3D images over actual objects, giving the user a personified experience!
The origin of the term “augmented reality”
The first prosperous AR venture was started in 1992 by Thomas P. Caudell and David Mizell of Boeing, the largest aerospace company in the world. Boeing was one of the first companies to use AR to virtually train its manufacturing staff.
Employees at Boeing used heads-up display (HUD) headsets in addition to computer-aided design (CAD) technology to more precisely diagnose, track down, and fix manufacturing flaws. Smart AR wearables called HUD displays made it easier to identify damaged aircraft parts visually. Once found, the flaws were corrected, and the aircraft was redesigned.
Every intricate step of an aircraft manufacturing cycle was dissected in this way, from design to testing to selling, yielding the desired outcomes. Caudell later came up with the term “Augmented Reality” in response to this. Before we discuss about different types of augmented reality, we will give you an idea on how does augmented reality work and the core components of AR.
How does augmented reality work?
The mechanism behind augmented reality’s operation is fairly straightforward. To accomplish this, you will only need an input device for image recognition, such as the camera on your smartphone. When you point your camera at a subject in the real world, the lens automatically switches to grayscale so that the image can be processed more quickly.
After the initial object has been detected, the built-in augmented reality software will extract significant features of the object and save them to the memory that is available on the system. Details such as an object’s coordinates, length, width, relative distance, and primary characteristics such as shape, colour, and size are among those that can be captured in real time. After the data has been saved, a connection between the camera and the object is established. The software examines the memory of the device, locates the data that is the most pertinent to the situation at hand, and then transmits it in a direct manner so that it can be superimposed on the target. In certain circumstances, it will download the virtual content onto the host server, which is also referred to as the AR Cloud. AR cannot function without the use of 3D modelling software due to the time-consuming and delicate nature of the process involved in its implementation. The nature of 3D modelling software is very adaptable, and it is able to execute the appropriate augmented reality content.
The use of AR in a variety of commercial enterprises has produced results that are encouraging. Today, augmented reality (AR) marketing is considered to be the heartbeat of the industry because it gives you the ability to create something original and expressive, as opposed to the typical promotional content.
Core components of augmented reality
System processors, sensors, input devices, GPS, cameras, and displays are the primary components that make up AR devices. Because smartphones already come pre-configured with all of these features, these types of devices, such as smartphones, can prove to be extremely compatible augmented reality (AR) devices. For the purpose of processing 3D images and sensor signals, processors such as RAM, flashcards, Bluetooth, and scanners are utilised. The majority of the input devices are cameras or webcams, and the sensors may include GPS, gyro metres, or accelerometers. These sensors record the position coordinates, distance, and relative velocity of the object being scanned.
Reflectors, such as smart mirrors, are an essential component of augmented reality (AR) devices because they enable the viewer to see virtual overlays superimposed on top of the real world. It is possible to align image illumination with the user’s vision and enhance their perception of reality by using a matrix of concave or convex mirrors to create an optical illusion. In general, today’s smartphones come completely stocked with everything that’s needed to run augmented reality (AR) applications without any hiccups.
What is augmented reality software?
The augmented reality application software is comprised of a set of tools that gives businesses the ability to create, optimise, and overlay content. Depending on the particular product, the content may either be visual, auditory, or written in nature. This type of software model is capable of performing a wide variety of functions and is able to operate autonomously on all operating systems, such as Android or iOS. It was developed on built-in syntaxes of the augmented reality markup language (ARML), and it is capable of tracking, analysing, and measuring all of the aspects of a real-world object without the assistance of any external processors or input devices. After making contact with the object, it will automatically replace the coordinates with the virtual images that are the most pertinent to the situation.
When incorporating augmented reality (AR) into consumer goods, companies need to select software development kits (SDKs) that are compatible with their product’s overall design and functionality in order to ensure successful implementation. Investing in the appropriate AR software development kit (SDK) streamlines the entire process of developing software while taking into account the limitations imposed by the product’s design and mitigating the risk of wear and tear.
Types of Augmented Reality App
The fact that even the most basic user can make use of Augmented Reality is one of its most appealing features. It’s likely that companies that specialize in augmented reality are assisting users in experiencing augmented reality by utilizing their mobile phones. Because of this, we are able to make the observation that augmented reality is prevalent in a variety of industries. Because of this, businesses and globalization have been able to reach new heights in terms of the most recent developments. This progression in the development of Augmented Reality technology led to the creation of the most readily available and optimally suited AR mobile app development for a variety of uses. Let’s take a look at the various flavours of augmented reality, shall we?
- Marker-based AR
With the assistance of AR applications, the marker-based augmented reality can distinguish between physical images, so-called “Markers,” and three-dimensional models. When you open up the Augmented Reality app on your mobile device, the app will use the back camera of your device to track any markers it finds.
This particular kind of augmented reality technology is also referred to as Recognition-based AR or Image Recognition. AR displays superimposed content in the form of video, image, 3D models, animation clips, or scenes based on tracking of markers. This content can be in any of the following formats: video, image, animation clip, or scene. Users are able to interact with the content through the use of an application.
The user is able to view the object or image in a more detailed manner and from a variety of angles when using this type of augmented reality, which is one of the popular types of the technology. In addition to that, the 3D imaginary rotates simultaneously whenever the user rotates the marker.
- Markerless AR
Markerless augmented reality is one that operates without the use of any markers and scans the environment around it. Users who wish to insert a virtual object or content can do so with the assistance of this technology without having to move anything in the background.
The location of the device, as well as its digital compass, camera, and accelerometer, are used to gather positional information for the markerless augmented reality (markerless AR), which is one of the primary types of virtual reality. Mobile apps that contain such features will typically request that the user locate a flat surface or floor for the AR objects to be placed on so that they do not always appear to be floating in the air. The AR app follows the flat surface, and then it runs the content that has been superimposed over it.
- Location-based AR
This type of augmented reality is one of the most widely used and widely implemented types that users make use of. To a large extent, the identification of the location is dependent on technologies such as GPS, digital compasses, the cameras on smartphones, and other devices. When compared to Marker-based Augmented Reality, it does not require the use of any special markers in order to determine the location of the virtual object.
The digital content is associated with a particular geographic location. Therefore, the objects will appear on the screen whenever the user travels to one of the predetermined locations. Because it is able to predict from the user’s focus to pair real-time data with the current location, location-based augmented reality does not require any sort of cue from the object in order to deploy. It also gives developers the ability to showcase original, interactive, and helpful digital content to specific geographical points of interest within the app. The ability to know the whereabouts of any particular area through the use of virtual 3D objects, videos, texts, links, and audio provides additional benefits to travellers.
- Superimposition AR
The use of superimposition in augmented reality (AR) results in the creation of an alternative view of an object, which can either partially or completely replace the original view of the object. This indicates that this technology can either replace the entire view of an object with an augmented view or just a portion of it. Object recognition is of the utmost importance in this particular flavour of augmented reality. In the event that the application is unable to determine what it is looking at, it will be unable to switch over to the virtual view and will instead display the original view. Superimposition augmented reality offers multiple perspectives of a target object, along with the option to highlight additional information that is pertinent to that object.
- Projection-based AR
The user is not responsible for operating this kind of technology. The video projection technique known as projection-based augmented reality (AR) is a form of augmented reality (AR) that projects images onto the surface of three-dimensional objects or the user’s physical environment to either extend or deliver digital data. This type of augmented reality is one of the most useful kinds because it enables users to freely move around the environment within a certain space where the projector and camera are placed. The utilization of this technology makes it simple to create graphical representations utilizing high-definition photographs or videos, which conventional lighting methods are unable to display. In addition to this, as time passes, it is able to alter the outward appearance of the object.
The purpose of this augmented reality software is to simplify complicated manual processes that are performed in commercial settings by throwing artificial light onto real flat surfaces in a controlled manner. The illusions that are created by this software are based on the depth, position, and orientation of an object. The best aspect of it is that it eliminates the requirement for computers and screens because the instructions are placed on a specific work area.
- Outlining AR
Another type of augmented reality, this one identifies the lines and boundaries of an object by providing an updated augmented view of it, something that human eyes are unable to do. It does this by employing specialized cameras that can perform the action in the appropriate setting. Object recognition is utilized by this technology in order to achieve a more comprehensive comprehension of the surrounding environment. After sunset, navigating with a car’s navigation system using outlining augmented reality (AR) is the only safe option.
The best thing about AR is that it can be easily accessed by any ordinary user, allowing them to view and interact with digital content even if they lack a technical background. This is the best part about AR. The only requirement for users is to install augmented reality apps on their smartphones. To view the computer-generated content or visuals, all they have to do is use their phone to scan any image or object that is placed on a surface that resembles a table. This app could be your own creation, or it could be any augmented reality app that you get from the App Store or Play Store.
You have the option to request that your customers use augmented reality applications like these if you run a company that wants to add straightforward videos or animations to the products you sell. Creating your own augmented reality app is the best option for leveraging high-tech projects that use projectors or specialized cameras. This will allow you to provide highly interactive and fluid experiences to your customers. There are large information technology companies that are devoting additional resources to the development of Augmented Reality tools for businesses, whether they be startups or large corporations. These companies are accomplishing their business objectives through the creation of individualised augmented reality applications. If you are interested in having an augmented reality app developed, all you need is a specialised app development company that possesses a certain set of skills in addition to hands-on experience.