Technology’s rate of advancement can be compared to the speed of light. One minute one is asleep and when one wakes up, an improvement has been made to what was considered mind-blowing enough. Sometimes technology’s advancement can be hard to keep up with and these improvements sometimes become very hard to pinpoint. There are many of such technological advancement you might not notice but Augmented Reality (AR) is not one of them. You might not know it by its name but you have definitely had contact with it whether you realized it or not.
Imagine a technology that combines your perception of the world with images generated by a computer to make what is not real look and feel real. This is what Augmented Reality does. It imposes images generated by a computer on your own perception of reality and creates a compound perception that combines what is not real with what is. AR already exists in video games, testing for extremities and on our smartphones. AR is therefore not exactly new. Smartphones make use of Augmented Reality already and will continue to use it, as well as see improvements in functions and usage on smartphones. All we have to do is just use our smartphones.
The sound of Augmented Reality (AR) might raise questions about what differentiates it from Virtual Reality (VR). They are really similar but while Augmented Reality makes what is not real look and feel real, Virtual Reality is a totally different computer world and is designed to be used ‘outside’ the real world. You can use Virtual Reality (VR) on your smartphone but you need assistance from other external devices to be able to experience it. Augmented Reality does not require anything before you can experience it. An example of Augmented Reality is the popular Snapchat app. This app has filters that give real-time and plausible results when applied. When you use the make-up filter on Snapchat for instance, the result makes you look like you really applied make up. This is what Augmented Reality does; makes what is not real look and feel real.
Many games and apps use Augmented Reality and will continue to use it to become better and provide users with better experiences. As cellphones improve, so does Augmented Reality. While Augmented Reality in smartphones still has a long way to go, it is one of the many indispensable technologies and will be in our pockets for a long time. With time, the use of Augmented Reality will transcend it’s major use which is for entertainment. Augmented Reality will expand from just beauty filters, fun and games to something more serious such as photography/videography, education, etc. Augmented Reality could really help with simulated learning and improve online/distance learning experience. In all, Augmented Reality in our smartphones (and extensively other devices) has potentials to make life simple, easy and improve the entertainment, education, business and day-to-day life experience. Augmented Reality could bring us closer to balancing/building a bridge between what is and what is not.