Augmented reality, the future of multimedia experience

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What is an Augmented reality?

Augmented reality, along with Virtual Reality is some of the most popular buzzwords in the recent years. These are part of technologies that were only thought of as possible in science fiction but are actually coming to fiction. Augmented Reality, is the merging of the virtual world and the real world such that the virtual world is usually overlaid on top of the other. The user can still sufficiently distinguish between both the worlds. His experience is usually enhanced or augmented by the relevant device. This is in contrast with Virtual Reality, where the end goal is to create an actual immersive experience into the virtual world and the user is mostly restricted to that world.

How does Augmented Reality Work?

Augmented Reality turns your environment into a digital interface. This is done by placing the virtual objects in the real world, in real-time. It can be seen through a wide range of experiences. It changes the way we see the world. The working of AR can be divided into two major categories- Marker-based and Markerless. The marker-based system makes use of physical world symbols as reference points for computer graphics to be applied. Meanwhile, Markerless system uses a combination of electronic devices’ accelerometer, compass, and the location data. These components are used to determine the vision of the device and therefore allows data to be displayed on the screen.

What kind of devices can implement Augmented reality? Devices containing software, sensors, compass and small digital projectors used to display objects in real world.The basic idea behind Augmented reality is overlaying computer-generated video onto the camera- captured video.

Major companies investing in Augmented Reality

The biggest name in AR has to be Microsoft, what with its powerful HoloLens Technology that, in a way, blends AR and VR to create Mixed Reality. This makes holograms, kind of like the movies, a part of the real world. They use a headset with sensors carefully positioned to create a perfect mix of sight and sound to deliver. They also have the advantage of having a superb computer vision research team behind the product. HoloLens development editions are priced at $3000 and have already started shipping to buyers.

Another US company, Magic Leap is working on a similar head-mounted augmented reality system and has raised more than $2 billion of capital from various firms. There are also a varied group of people working in the company including a science fiction author and people from special effects companies. What the company does is quite secretive and only a couple of videos demonstrating some tech has been the output till now.

Other companies including EPSON, MARK, DAQRI and various startups are dabbling in Augmented Reality right now. The AR industry is currently valued at a whopping $120 billion and since the industry is only going to get bigger, a lot more start-ups will surely be coming up to take advantage.

Future of Augmented Reality in India

The technology is really starting to catch up in countries like India where companies are increasingly using Augmented Reality to market their products. Brands like Cadbury and KFC, with their marketing campaigns, extensively used Augmented Reality to reach out to users. AR can also be used in the teaching ecosystem, to demonstrate the working of components and technologies to students.

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Augmented Reality movie has a great potential in the entertainment sphere as well. The creators used AR on the poster of the movies, which when scanned by the phone showed more information related to the movie. The cinema goer could then be able to book movie tickets or watch the trailer of the movie. Another major entertainment use is in games where creators can develop a much more interactive experience for consumers.

Career options in AR

Just like any other technology, with the launch of Augmented Reality, there came a host of job options.  Major jobs will be involving designing and prototyping AR products. This might take skills from sectors such as computer science, graphic designing, 3d animation, coding. Training of people equipped to handle these technologies will also be a big career option. Other non-technical jobs might include promotion and marketing of Augmented Reality products to work in the market. The entertainment industry will also be a huge place to work for later, in AR. As the technology has just emerged, there is a great advantage in building skills right from today. This will help cater to the huge job spurt which will come up in the later years.

Image Credits:

coetail.com

ctvnews.ca

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