Augmented reality or AR for short can be defined as a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptics or GPS data.

As for the definition of Haptics?

It is the science of applying touch or tactile sensation and control to an interaction with computer applications. The word derives from the Greek haptein meaning “to fasten.” An example may be as simple as the vibration on your phone being used in an application to warn you or more sophisticated using special human machine interfaces.

What is Augmented Reality Supposed To Do For The World?

Augmented reality has applications ( today and future ) for not only video games but education, training, travel, manufacturing, maintenance, medical and even surgery. As of this writing there are several companies that are developing types of AR headsets or AR glasses that are worn over your head or eyes to allow you to see the real world at the same time as receive additional “augmented ” information about what the user is seeing.

One of the first and maybe most famous games to utilize a primitive form of virtual reality is Pokemon Go. In this game you are hunting a virtual target but in the real world. If you go to the Pokemon Go AR site you can see the latest winners of the photo contest.

photo contest winner for Pokemon GO AR users

photo contest winner for Pokemon GO AR users

This game uses your phone front camera to capture the real world and then display the augmented data on the screen as you view it. It is a very simple but smart AR interface design.

The augmented data needs to have some sort of connection to what the viewer is seeing. As artificial intelligence science progresses, the quality of the data as far as usefulness should improve. Imagine learning to play the guitar using AR where a famous musician is helping you with the cords? Or having the expertise of a famous chef or painter guide you as you create ( recreate? ) your won masterpieces for friends and family.

During delicate surgery doctors can have the advice of other experts based on the far side of the world to help them make the right decisions. Augmented reality is likely to be a very disruptive technology, meaning many things that we do today will change forever.

Facebook owned Oculus Rift AR headset

Facebook owned Oculus Rift AR headset – an example of what is augmented reality technology

Some very big names are developing AR technology. Microsoft has developed a system the refer to as mixed reality call Hololens while Facebook has bought a company called Oculus ( they paid billions for Oculus as far back as 2014).

Google answers the question of what is augmented reality with their Google glass

Google answers the question of what is augmented reality with their Google glass

Google has their Googleglass techology that is lighter than the full headsets. This technology actually projects an image onto the users eye, in effect overlaying the real world with augmented data.