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What is augmented reality AR and how does it work? Technology Behind Augmented Reality


What is augmented reality AR and how does it work
pic credit: Guiding Tech


So you want to make augmented reality content or design and develop custom AR apps. The only issue is that you don't understand how augmented reality works. This is the article for you. I'd like to clarify something before we get started. Different modalities, such as visual, audio, and haptics, can be used to split augmented reality. 




Defining Augmented Reality


We'll concentrate on visual-based AR in this article. How would you describe augmented reality in a single sentence if someone asked you?


This is my definition of augmented reality: AR is a digital media that allows you to overlay virtual content over the real world, making it appear as though the content is literally there. The ability to combine the digital and physical worlds is what AR is all about. 





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Mapping the Surrounding Environment


I'm sure you're curious as to how this mysterious technology works. AR-enabled gear, such as a phone or glasses, is the starting point. Most significantly, AR sees and understands the physical world around you via a system of cameras and, in certain devices, time-of-flight 3d depth sensors.


What do you do when you walk into a room you've never been in before? You take a glance around and try to make sense of what you're seeing. Your mind creates a mental model of the location in order for you to remember it and recall it the next time you enter it. 


Using photos from your twin camera system on your face, the processor in your head mapped the scene. Similarly, using hardware sensors and specialist software, such as computer vision and machine learning software, your phone or glasses map the surrounding world and develop a model of it.




Tracking / Localization Within the Environment


Consider this room once more; we can fairly correctly estimate our location within it as we move around it. This is achievable because we consider our position in relation to key elements in the room, such as the walls, desk, and ultra-wide monitor. 


This is referred to as tracking or localization in augmented reality. Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) is a fun term used in the research world. This is something your phone or glasses perform on a regular basis. They not only map your surroundings, but they also keep track of your whereabouts in reference to it.


This is essential to know. An AR experience can begin after mapping and localization for a new area are working properly. 




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But how does AR content placement function in practice? 


When you use AR content, your phone or glasses are actually placed in the environment's virtual map. The virtual map, on the other hand, is not visible. As a result, it appears that digital content has been placed in the actual world. 


As a result, it's critical that our virtual map is accurate and in sync with its physical counterpart. Your AR gadget observes various environmental parameters, such as light intensity and color temperature, in addition to mapping and localization. 


Our AR devices sense the conditions of our environment and project them onto our digital content to make things appear as realistic as feasible. That's how augmented reality works.


It creates a map of your surroundings and tracks your whereabouts inside it. It enables you to embed digital stuff in the physical environment in such a way that you and people around you feel it is genuinely there. I hope you're excited to start working with augmented reality. 


The technology appears to be miraculous, and AR has the ability to disrupt every business on the planet. I'm ready to bet it'll even give birth to new industries we haven't even considered. Now, I understand that AR is still extremely new and unclear, so where do you begin?

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