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Augmented reality AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual , auditory , haptic , somatosensory and olfactory.
Augography is the science and practice of making augograms for AR. AR can be defined as a system that fulfills three basic features: a combination of real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction, and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects. The primary value of augmented reality is the manner in which components of the digital world blend into a person's perception of the real world, not as a simple display of data, but through the integration of immersive sensations, which are perceived as natural parts of an environment.
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The earliest functional AR systems that provided immersive mixed reality experiences for users were invented in the early s, starting with the Virtual Fixtures system developed at the U. Air Force's Armstrong Laboratory in Subsequently, augmented reality applications have spanned commercial industries such as education, communications, medicine, and entertainment. In education, content may be accessed by scanning or viewing an image with a mobile device or by using markerless AR techniques.
Augmented reality is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offer perceptually enriched experiences. With the help of advanced AR technologies e. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world.
This information can be virtual     or real, e. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic contexts with environmental elements.
Immersive perceptual information is sometimes combined with supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event. This combines the benefits of both augmented reality technology and heads up display technology HUD. In Virtual Reality VR , the users' perception of reality is completely based on virtual information. In Augmented Reality AR the user is provided with additional computer generated information that enhances their perception of reality.
Another example is through the use of utility applications.
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Some AR applications, such as Augment , enable users to apply digital objects into real environments, allowing businesses to use augmented reality devices as a way to preview their products in the real world. Augmented Reality AR differs from Virtual Reality VR in the sense that in AR part of the surrounding environment is actually 'real' and just adding layers of virtual objects to the real environment.
On the other hand, in VR the surrounding environment is completely virtual. A demonstration of how AR layers objects onto the real world can be seen with augmented reality games. WallaMe is an augmented reality game application that allows users to hide messages in real environments, utilizing geolocation technology in order to enable users to hide messages wherever they may wish in the world.
Hardware components for augmented reality are: a processor, display, sensors and input devices. Modern mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablet computers contain these elements, which often include a camera and Microelectromechanical systems MEMS sensors such as an accelerometer , GPS , and solid state compass , making them suitable AR platforms.
Various technologies are used in augmented reality rendering, including optical projection systems , monitors , handheld devices , and display systems, which are worn on the human body. A head-mounted display HMD is a display device worn on the forehead, such as a harness or helmet-mounted.
HMDs place images of both the physical world and virtual objects over the user's field of view.
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Modern HMDs often employ sensors for six degrees of freedom monitoring that allow the system to align virtual information to the physical world and adjust accordingly with the user's head movements.
AR displays can be rendered on devices resembling eyeglasses. Versions include eyewear that employs cameras to intercept the real world view and re-display its augmented view through the eyepieces  and devices in which the AR imagery is projected through or reflected off the surfaces of the eyewear lens pieces.
A head-up display HUD is a transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints.
A precursor technology to augmented reality, heads-up displays were first developed for pilots in the s, projecting simple flight data into their line of sight, thereby enabling them to keep their "heads up" and not look down at the instruments.
Near-eye augmented reality devices can be used as portable head-up displays as they can show data, information, and images while the user views the real world.
Many definitions of augmented reality only define it as overlaying the information. Contact lenses that display AR imaging are in development. These bionic contact lenses might contain the elements for display embedded into the lens including integrated circuitry, LEDs and an antenna for wireless communication.
The first contact lens display was reported in ,  then 11 years later in The futuristic short film Sight  features contact lens-like augmented reality devices. Many scientists have been working on contact lenses capable of different technological feats.
A patent filed by Samsung describes an AR contact lens, that, when finished, will include a built-in camera on the lens itself. It is also intended to be linked with the user's smartphone to review footage, and control it separately. When successful, the lens would feature a camera, or sensor inside of it. It is said that it could be anything from a light sensor, to a temperature sensor.
In Augmented Reality, the distinction is made between two distinct modes of tracking, known as marker and markerless. Markers are visual cues which trigger the display of the virtual information.
The camera recognizes the geometries by identifying specific points in the drawing. Markerless tracking, also called instant tracking, does not use markers. Instead, the user positions the object in the camera view preferably in a horizontal plane.
It uses sensors in mobile devices to accurately detect the real-world environment, such as the locations of walls and points of intersection.
Furness III. This results in bright images with high resolution and high contrast. The viewer sees what appears to be a conventional display floating in space. Several of tests were done to analyze the safety of the VRD. In the macular degeneration group, five out of eight subjects preferred the VRD images to the cathode-ray tube CRT or paper images and thought they were better and brighter and were able to see equal or better resolution levels. The Keratoconus patients could all resolve smaller lines in several line tests using the VRD as opposed to their own correction.
They also found the VRD images to be easier to view and sharper. As a result of these several tests, virtual retinal display is considered safe technology. Virtual retinal display creates images that can be seen in ambient daylight and ambient room light. The VRD is considered a preferred candidate to use in a surgical display due to its combination of high resolution and high contrast and brightness.
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Additional tests show high potential for VRD to be used as a display technology for patients that have low vision. The EyeTap also known as Generation-2 Glass  captures rays of light that would otherwise pass through the center of the lens of the wearer's eye, and substitutes synthetic computer-controlled light for each ray of real light. A Handheld display employs a small display that fits in a user's hand.
All handheld AR solutions to date opt for video see-through. Initially handheld AR employed fiducial markers ,  and later GPS units and MEMS sensors such as digital compasses and six degrees of freedom accelerometer— gyroscope. Handheld display AR promises to be the first commercial success for AR technologies. The two main advantages of handheld AR are the portable nature of handheld devices and the ubiquitous nature of camera phones.
The disadvantages are the physical constraints of the user having to hold the handheld device out in front of them at all times, as well as the distorting effect of classically wide-angled mobile phone cameras when compared to the real world as viewed through the eye. Spatial augmented reality SAR augments real-world objects and scenes, without the use of special displays such as monitors, head-mounted displays or hand-held devices.
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SAR makes use of digital projectors to display graphical information onto physical objects. The key difference in SAR is that the display is separated from the users of the system. Since the displays are not associated with each user, SAR scales naturally up to groups of users, allowing for collocated collaboration between users.
Examples include shader lamps , mobile projectors, virtual tables, and smart projectors. Shader lamps mimic and augment reality by projecting imagery onto neutral objects. This provides the opportunity to enhance the object's appearance with materials of a simple unit—a projector, camera, and sensor.
Other applications include table and wall projections. One innovation, the Extended Virtual Table, separates the virtual from the real by including beam-splitter mirrors attached to the ceiling at an adjustable angle. Many more implementations and configurations make spatial augmented reality display an increasingly attractive interactive alternative.
A SAR system can display on any number of surfaces in an indoor setting at once. SAR supports both a graphical visualization and passive haptic sensation for the end users.
Users are able to touch physical objects in a process that provides passive haptic sensation. These technologies offer varying levels of accuracy and precision.
The most important is the position and orientation of the user's head. Tracking the user's hand s or a handheld input device can provide a 6DOF interaction technique. Mobile augmented reality applications are gaining popularity because of the wide adoption of mobile and especially wearable devices.
However, they often rely on computationally intensive computer vision algorithms with extreme latency requirements.
To compensate for the lack of computing power, offloading data processing to a distant machine is often desired. Computation offloading introduces new constraints in applications, especially in terms of latency and bandwidth. Although there are a plethora of real-time multimedia transport protocols, there is a need for support from network infrastructure as well. Techniques include speech recognition systems that translate a user's spoken words into computer instructions, and gesture recognition systems that interpret a user's body movements by visual detection or from sensors embedded in a peripheral device such as a wand, stylus, pointer, glove or other body wear.
The computer analyzes the sensed visual and other data to synthesize and position augmentations. Computers are responsible for the graphics that go with augmented reality.
Augmented reality uses a computer-generated image which has a striking effect on the way the real world is shown.
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With the improvement of technology and computers, augmented reality is going to lead to a drastic change on ones perspective of the real world. The more that computers progress, augmented reality will become more flexible and more common in society. Computers are the core of augmented reality. This translates to an input to the computer which then outputs to the users by adding something that would otherwise not be there.
The computer comprises memory and a processor.