What Is Virtual Reality Technology

What Is Virtual Reality Technology Technologies for programming of Virtual Reality applications

Als virtuelle Realität, kurz VR, wird die Darstellung und gleichzeitige Wahrnehmung der Wirklichkeit und ihrer physikalischen Eigenschaften in einer in Echtzeit computergenerierten, interaktiven virtuellen Umgebung bezeichnet. Definition: What is Virtual Reality? Technologies for programming Virtual Reality applications; Specialization on VR learning contents; Overview of VR glasses. A definitive, up-to-date glossary of immersive technology terminologies. Learn about the differences between augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality. But what's its most impressive application thus far? Below, 15 members of Forbes Technology Council share their thoughts. 1. Real-Time. VR, AR, MR, XR, what do all these terms or acronyms mean and which one to use in Extended reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality, VR, AR, MR, XR, All technologies that change the meaning of vision are represented by​.

What Is Virtual Reality Technology

He offers expert guidelines for interacting with VR and describes the profound ways this technology can be put to use—not to distance ourselves from reality, but to. AR – what is augmented reality? MR – What is mixed reality? the traditional coloring book with augmented reality and explains the technical background in. As virtual reality expands from the imaginary worlds of science fiction and pervades which concludes with a summary of different haptic display technologies.

This information can be virtual [11] [12] [13] [14] 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. 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.

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 [31] 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 patented in by Steve Mann and was intended to work in combination with AR spectacles, but the project was abandoned [38] , [39] then 11 years later in — At CES , a company called Innovega also unveiled similar contact lenses that required being combined with AR glasses to work.

The futuristic short film Sight [47] 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.

The first publicly unveiled working prototype of an AR contact lens not requiring the use of glasses in conjunction was developed by Mojo Vision and announced and shown off at CES Thomas A.

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.

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 [56] 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 , [58] 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.

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.

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. The fixed marks on an object's surface are stored in the memory of a computer.

The computer also withdraws from its memory to present images realistically to the onlooker. Projectors can also be used to display AR contents.

The projector can throw a virtual object on a projection screen and the viewer can interact with this virtual object.

Projection surfaces can be many objects such as walls or glass panes. A key measure of AR systems is how realistically they integrate augmentations with the real world.

The software must derive real world coordinates, independent of camera, and camera images. That process is called image registration , and uses different methods of computer vision , mostly related to video tracking.

An augogram is a computer generated image that is used to create AR. Augography is the science and software practice of making augograms for AR.

Usually those methods consist of two parts. The first stage is to detect interest points , fiducial markers or optical flow in the camera images.

This step can use feature detection methods like corner detection , blob detection , edge detection or thresholding , and other image processing methods.

Some methods assume objects with known geometry or fiducial markers are present in the scene. In some of those cases the scene 3D structure should be calculated beforehand.

If part of the scene is unknown simultaneous localization and mapping SLAM can map relative positions. If no information about scene geometry is available, structure from motion methods like bundle adjustment are used.

Mathematical methods used in the second stage include: projective epipolar geometry, geometric algebra , rotation representation with exponential map , kalman and particle filters, nonlinear optimization , robust statistics.

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.

To enable rapid development of augmented reality applications, some software development kits SDKs have emerged. The implementation of augmented reality in consumer products requires considering the design of the applications and the related constraints of the technology platform.

Since AR systems rely heavily on the immersion of the user and the interaction between the user and the system, design can facilitate the adoption of virtuality.

For most augmented reality systems, a similar design guideline can be followed. The following lists some considerations for designing augmented reality applications:.

Context Design focuses on the end-user's physical surrounding, spatial space, and accessibility that may play a role when using the AR system.

Designers should be aware of the possible physical scenarios the end-user may be in such as:. By evaluating each physical scenario, potential safety hazards can be avoided and changes can be made to greater improve the end-user's immersion.

UX designers will have to define user journeys for the relevant physical scenarios and define how the interface reacts to each.

Especially in AR systems, it is vital to also consider the spatial and surrounding elements that change the effectiveness of the AR technology.

Environmental elements such as lighting and sound can prevent the AR device sensor from detecting necessary data and ruin the immersion of the end-user.

Another aspect of context design involves the design of the system's functionality and its ability to accommodate user preferences. It is important to note that in some situations, the application's functionality may hinder the user's ability.

For example, applications that is used for driving should reduce the amount of user interaction and use audio cues instead.

Interaction design in augmented reality technology centers on the user's engagement with the end product to improve the overall user experience and enjoyment.

The purpose of interaction design is to avoid alienating or confusing the user by organizing the information presented.

Since user interaction relies on the user's input, designers must make system controls easier to understand and accessible.

A common technique to improve usability for augmented reality applications is by discovering the frequently accessed areas in the device's touch display and design the application to match those areas of control.

In interaction design, it is important for developers to utilize augmented reality technology that complement the system's function or purpose.

In other applications that require users to understand the focus and intent, designers can employ a reticle or raycast from the device.

Augmented reality technology allows to utilize the introduction of 3D space. This means that a user can potentially access multiple copies of 2D interfaces within a single AR application.

In general, visual design is the appearance of the developing application that engages the user. To improve the graphic interface elements and user interaction, developers may use visual cues to inform the user what elements of UI are designed to interact with and how to interact with them.

Since navigating in an AR application may appear difficult and seem frustrating, visual cue design can make interactions seem more natural.

In some augmented reality applications that use a 2D device as an interactive surface, the 2D control environment does not translate well in 3D space making users hesitant to explore their surroundings.

To solve this issue, designers should apply visual cues to assist and encourage users to explore their surroundings.

It is important to note the two main objects in AR when developing VR applications: 3D volumetric objects that are manipulated and realistically interact with light and shadow; and animated media imagery such as images and videos which are mostly traditional 2D media rendered in a new context for augmented reality.

As such, designers can add weight to objects, use depths maps, and choose different material properties that highlight the object's presence in the real world.

Another visual design that can be applied is using different lighting techniques or casting shadows to improve overall depth judgment.

Augmented reality has been explored for many applications, from gaming and entertainment to medicine, education and business.

Example application areas described below include archaeology, architecture, commerce and education. Some of the earliest cited examples include augmented reality used to support surgery by providing virtual overlays to guide medical practitioners, to AR content for astronomy and welding.

AR has been used to aid archaeological research. By augmenting archaeological features onto the modern landscape, AR allows archaeologists to formulate possible site configurations from extant structures.

Each user can collaborate by mutually "navigating, searching, and viewing data". Hrvoje Benko, a researcher in the computer science department at Columbia University , points out that these particular systems and others like them can provide "3D panoramic images and 3D models of the site itself at different excavation stages" all the while organizing much of the data in a collaborative way that is easy to use.

Collaborative AR systems supply multimodal interactions that combine the real world with virtual images of both environments.

AR can aid in visualizing building projects. Computer-generated images of a structure can be superimposed onto a real-life local view of a property before the physical building is constructed there; this was demonstrated publicly by Trimble Navigation in AR can also be employed within an architect's workspace, rendering animated 3D visualizations of their 2D drawings.

Architecture sight-seeing can be enhanced with AR applications, allowing users viewing a building's exterior to virtually see through its walls, viewing its interior objects and layout.

With continual improvements to GPS accuracy, businesses are able to use augmented reality to visualize georeferenced models of construction sites, underground structures, cables and pipes using mobile devices.

Following the Christchurch earthquake , the University of Canterbury released CityViewAR, [] which enabled city planners and engineers to visualize buildings that had been destroyed.

AR systems are being used as collaborative tools for design and planning in the built environment. For example, AR can be used to create augmented reality maps, buildings and data feeds projected onto tabletops for collaborative viewing by built environment professionals.

Design options can be articulated on site, and appear closer to reality than traditional desktop mechanisms such as 2D maps and 3d models.

In educational settings, AR has been used to complement a standard curriculum. Text, graphics, video, and audio may be superimposed into a student's real-time environment.

Textbooks, flashcards and other educational reading material may contain embedded "markers" or triggers that, when scanned by an AR device, produced supplementary information to the student rendered in a multimedia format.

As AR evolves, students can participate interactively and interact with knowledge more authentically. Instead of remaining passive recipients, students can become active learners, able to interact with their learning environment.

Computer-generated simulations of historical events allow students to explore and learning details of each significant area of the event site.

In higher education, Construct3D, a Studierstube system, allows students to learn mechanical engineering concepts, math or geometry.

AR is used to substitute paper manuals with digital instructions which are overlaid on the manufacturing operator's field of view, reducing mental effort required to operate.

Digital instructions increase operator safety by removing the need for operators to look at a screen or manual away from the working area, which can be hazardous.

Instead, the instructions are overlaid on the working area. AR is used to integrate print and video marketing. Printed marketing material can be designed with certain "trigger" images that, when scanned by an AR-enabled device using image recognition, activate a video version of the promotional material.

A major difference between augmented reality and straightforward image recognition is that one can overlay multiple media at the same time in the view screen, such as social media share buttons, the in-page video even audio and 3D objects.

Traditional print-only publications are using augmented reality to connect different types of media. AR can enhance product previews such as allowing a customer to view what's inside a product's packaging without opening it.

Scanned images of products can activate views of additional content such as customization options and additional images of the product in its use. By , virtual dressing rooms had been developed for e-commerce.

In , a mint used AR techniques to market a commemorative coin for Aruba. The coin itself was used as an AR trigger, and when held in front of an AR-enabled device it revealed additional objects and layers of information that were not visible without the device.

Apple has created an AR QuickLook Gallery that allows masses to experience augmented reality on their own Apple device. In , Shopify , the Canadian e-commerce company, announced ARkit2 integration.

Their merchants are able to use the tools to upload 3D models of their products. Users will be able to tap on the goods inside Safari to view in their real-world environments.

In , Twinkl released a free AR classroom application. Pupils can see how York looked over 1, years ago. Augmented reality is becoming more frequently used for online advertising.

Retailers offer the ability to upload a picture on their website and "try on" various clothes which are overlaid on the picture.

Even further, companies such as Bodymetrics install dressing booths in department stores that offer full-body scanning.

These booths render a 3-D model of the user, allowing the consumers to view different outfits on themselves without the need of physically changing clothes.

It contains a catalogue of over 2, products—nearly the company's full collection of sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and storage units which one can place anywhere in a room with their phone.

IKEA realized that their customers are not shopping in stores as often or making direct purchases anymore. AR applied in the visual arts allows objects or places to trigger artistic multidimensional experiences and interpretations of reality.

Augmented reality can aid in the progression of visual art in museums by allowing museum visitors to view artwork in galleries in a multidimensional way through their phone screens.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has created an exhibit in their art museum showcasing AR features that viewers can see using an app on their smartphone.

AR technology aided the development of eye tracking technology to translate a disabled person's eye movements into drawings on a screen.

AR technology can also be used to place objects in the user's environment. A Danish artist, Olafur Eliasson , is placing objects like burning suns, extraterrestrial rocks, and rare animals, into the user's environment.

Primary school children learn easily from interactive experiences. As an example, astronomical constellations and the movements of objects in the solar system were oriented in 3D and overlaid in the direction the device was held, and expanded with supplemental video information.

Paper-based science book illustrations could seem to come alive as video without requiring the child to navigate to web-based materials.

In , a project was launched on Kickstarter to teach about electronics with an educational toy that allowed children to scan their circuit with an iPad and see the electric current flowing around.

Apps that leverage augmented reality to aid learning included SkyView for studying astronomy, [] AR Circuits for building simple electric circuits, [] and SketchAr for drawing.

AR would also be a way for parents and teachers to achieve their goals for modern education, which might include providing more individualized and flexible learning, making closer connections between what is taught at school and the real world, and helping students to become more engaged in their own learning.

Augmented reality systems are used in public safety situations, from super storms to suspects at large. As early as , two articles from Emergency Management magazine discussed the power of this technology for emergency management.

Another early example was a search aircraft looking for a lost hiker in rugged mountain terrain. Augmented reality systems provided aerial camera operators with a geographic awareness of forest road names and locations blended with the camera video.

The camera operator was better able to search for the hiker knowing the geographic context of the camera image. Once located, the operator could more efficiently direct rescuers to the hiker's location because the geographic position and reference landmarks were clearly labeled.

AR can be used to facilitate social interaction. An augmented reality social network framework called Talk2Me enables people to disseminate information and view others' advertised information in an augmented reality way.

The timely and dynamic information sharing and viewing functionalities of Talk2Me help initiate conversations and make friends for users with people in physical proximity.

Augmented reality also gives users the ability to practice different forms of social interactions with other people in a safe, risk-free environment.

Hannes Kauffman, Associate Professor for Virtual Reality at TU Vienna , says: "In collaborative Augmented Reality multiple users may access a shared space populated by virtual objects, while remaining grounded in the real world.

This technique is particularly powerful for educational purposes when users are collocated and can use natural means of communication speech, gestures, etc.

The gaming industry embraced AR technology. A number of games were developed for prepared indoor environments, such as AR air hockey, Titans of Space , collaborative combat against virtual enemies, and AR-enhanced pool table games.

Augmented reality allowed video game players to experience digital game play in a real-world environment. Users who downloaded the BitTorrent client software were also encouraged to download and share Part One of three parts of the film.

The episodic release of the film, supplemented by an ARG transmedia marketing campaign, created a viral effect and over a million users downloaded the movie.

AR allows industrial designers to experience a product's design and operation before completion. Volkswagen has used AR for comparing calculated and actual crash test imagery.

It has also been used to compare digital mock-ups with physical mock-ups to find discrepancies between them. One the first applications of Augmented Reality was in healthcare, particularly to support the planning, practice, and training of surgical procedures.

As far back as , enhancing human performance during surgery was a formally stated objective when building the first augmented reality systems at U.

Air Force laboratories. Examples include a virtual X-ray view based on prior tomography or on real-time images from ultrasound and confocal microscopy probes, [] visualizing the position of a tumor in the video of an endoscope , [] or radiation exposure risks from X-ray imaging devices.

On 30 April Microsoft announced the Microsoft HoloLens , their first attempt at augmented reality. The HoloLens has advanced through the years and is capable of projecting holograms for near infrared fluorescence based image guided surgery.

Augmented reality and similar computer based-utilities are being used to train medical professionals. Magee et al. Augmented reality applications, running on handheld devices utilized as virtual reality headsets, can also digitize human presence in space and provide a computer generated model of them, in a virtual space where they can interact and perform various actions.

Such capabilities are demonstrated by Project Anywhere, developed by a postgraduate student at ETH Zurich, which was dubbed as an "out-of-body experience".

Building on decades of perceptual-motor research in experimental psychology, researchers at the Aviation Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign used augmented reality in the form of a flight path in the sky to teach flight students how to land an airplane using a flight simulator.

An adaptive augmented schedule in which students were shown the augmentation only when they departed from the flight path proved to be a more effective training intervention than a constant schedule.

An interesting early application of AR occurred when Rockwell International created video map overlays of satellite and orbital debris tracks to aid in space observations at Air Force Maui Optical System.

In their paper "Debris Correlation Using the Rockwell WorldView System" the authors describe the use of map overlays applied to video from space surveillance telescopes.

The map overlays indicated the trajectories of various objects in geographic coordinates. This allowed telescope operators to identify satellites, and also to identify and catalog potentially dangerous space debris.

Starting in the US Army integrated the SmartCam3D augmented reality system into the Shadow Unmanned Aerial System to aid sensor operators using telescopic cameras to locate people or points of interest.

The system combined fixed geographic information including street names, points of interest, airports, and railroads with live video from the camera system.

The system offered a "picture in picture" mode that allows it to show a synthetic view of the area surrounding the camera's field of view.

This helps solve a problem in which the field of view is so narrow that it excludes important context, as if "looking through a soda straw".

As of , Korean researchers are looking to implement mine-detecting robots into the military. The proposed design for such a robot includes a mobile platform that is like a track which would be able to cover uneven distances including stairs.

The robot's mine detection sensor would include a combination of metal detectors and Ground-penetrating radar to locate mines or IEDs. This unique design would be immeasurably helpful in saving lives of Korean soldiers.

In combat, AR can serve as a networked communication system that renders useful battlefield data onto a soldier's goggles in real time. From the soldier's viewpoint, people and various objects can be marked with special indicators to warn of potential dangers.

AR can be very effective to virtually design out the 3D topologies of munition storages in the terrain with the choice of the munitions combination in stacks and distances between them with a visualization of risk areas.

The NASA X was flown using a Hybrid Synthetic Vision system that overlaid map data on video to provide enhanced navigation for the spacecraft during flight tests from to It used the LandForm software which was useful for times of limited visibility, including an instance when the video camera window frosted over leaving astronauts to rely on the map overlays.

In the photo at right one can see the map markers indicating runways, air traffic control tower, taxiways, and hangars overlaid on the video.

AR can augment the effectiveness of navigation devices. Information can be displayed on an automobile's windshield indicating destination directions and meter, weather, terrain, road conditions and traffic information as well as alerts to potential hazards in their path.

Augmented reality may have a positive impact on work collaboration as people may be inclined to interact more actively with their learning environment.

It may also encourage tacit knowledge renewal which makes firms more competitive. AR was used to facilitate collaboration among distributed team members via conferences with local and virtual participants.

AR tasks included brainstorming and discussion meetings utilizing common visualization via touch screen tables, interactive digital whiteboards, shared design spaces and distributed control rooms.

In industrial environments, augmented reality is proving to have a substantial impact with more and more use cases emerging across all aspect of the product lifecycle, starting from product design and new product introduction NPI to manufacturing to service and maintenance, to material handling and distribution.

For example, labels were displayed on parts of a system to clarify operating instructions for a mechanic performing maintenance on a system. In addition to Boeing, BMW and Volkswagen were known for incorporating this technology into assembly lines for monitoring process improvements.

AR permits people to look through the machine as if with an x-ray, pointing them to the problem right away. As AR technology has evolved and second and third generation AR devices come to market, the impact of AR in enterprise continues to flourish.

In the Harvard Business Review , Magid Abraham and Marco Annunziata discuss how AR devices are now being used to "boost workers' productivity on an array of tasks the first time they're used, even without prior training'.

Weather visualizations were the first application of augmented reality in television. It has now become common in weather casting to display full motion video of images captured in real-time from multiple cameras and other imaging devices.

Coupled with 3D graphics symbols and mapped to a common virtual geospatial model, these animated visualizations constitute the first true application of AR to TV.

AR has become common in sports telecasting. Sports and entertainment venues are provided with see-through and overlay augmentation through tracked camera feeds for enhanced viewing by the audience.

Examples include the yellow " first down " line seen in television broadcasts of American football games showing the line the offensive team must cross to receive a first down.

AR is also used in association with football and other sporting events to show commercial advertisements overlaid onto the view of the playing area.

Sections of rugby fields and cricket pitches also display sponsored images. Swimming telecasts often add a line across the lanes to indicate the position of the current record holder as a race proceeds to allow viewers to compare the current race to the best performance.

No word on price or release date for the Cosmos yet, but expect it sometime in the second half of These devices can sell for almost nothing and are often given away free , and deliver a scaled down VR experience that still approaches the immersive experiences generated by much-more expensive hardware.

Samsung has added hand controllers to the Gear VR experience, bringing it more in line with current VR content. Google was there in the earliest days of this current VR cycle with Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself approach to mobile VR that has become a staple of trade shows — Cardboard was even given out free to New York Times subscribers, bundled with their Sunday paper.

But Google is not deterred! Additional VR HMDs made by companies both big and small are now hitting the market, making up for a lack of pedigree in the space with impressive tech specs and lower price points.

High-end PC with DisplayPort 1. Many other companies are developing Virtual Reality headsets and other peripherals.

As more and better hardware hits the market, it will continue to power a growing ecosystem of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and content providers.

In addition to all the hardware explored above, there is an ever-expanding number of other devices launched by lesser-known companies looking to grab mind and market share.

There remains a significant amount of confusion about the differences between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

Check out our exhaustive primers on Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality for an in-depth look at the differences. Mixed Reality devices like the Microsoft Hololens use a headset to overlay 3D imagery on top of the real world.

Very cool, but not Virtual Reality. Unlike VR tech, Microsoft based their display on holographic technology. The Hololens 2 will feature upgraded visuals, including a much-expanded field of view — music to fans of the original device, who settled on the limited FOV as the main drawback of the device.

The company has been a source of much fascination and hand-wringing by industry observers ever since. Magic Leap fed the public appetite for information with a string of vaporware demos before finally unveiling the Magic Leap One in Instead of a magical breakthrough device, the Magic Leap One was more of an updated Hololens, which produced good but not great 3D imagery that mixed decently but not spectacularly with the real world.

The Magic Leap One remains more of a developer tool in search of a consumer application — much like the Hololens. The Vuzix Blade are the first Mixed Reality glasses to look like, well, glasses.

Thing Uber ordering, GPS, fitness tracking, weather updates, messages, and more. Stay tuned. Unsurprisingly, the video games industry is one of the largest proponents of Virtual Reality.

Support for the Oculus Rift headsets has already been jerry-rigged into games like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto, but newer games like Elite: Dangerous come with headset support built right in.

Many tried-and-true user interface metaphors in gaming have to be adjusted for VR after all, who wants to have to pick items out of a menu that takes up your entire field of vision?

In aviation, medicine, and the military, Virtual Reality training is an attractive alternative to live training with expensive equipment, dangerous situations, or sensitive technology.

Commercial pilots can use realistic cockpits with VR technology in holistic training programs that incorporate virtual flight and live instruction.

Surgeons can train with virtual tools and patients, and transfer their virtual skills into the operating room, and studies have already begun to show that such training leads to faster doctors who make fewer mistakes.

Police and soldiers are able to conduct virtual raids that avoid putting lives at risk. Speaking of medicine, the treatment of mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, stands to benefit from the application of Virtual Reality technology to ongoing therapy programs.

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What is Virtual Reality? Joe Bardi. Virtual Reality and the importance of audio Convincing Virtual Reality applications require more than just graphics.

Versions include eyewear that employs cameras to intercept the real world view and re-display its augmented view through the eyepieces [31] 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 patented in by Steve Mann and was intended to work in combination with AR spectacles, but the project was abandoned [38] , [39] then 11 years later in — At CES , a company called Innovega also unveiled similar contact lenses that required being combined with AR glasses to work.

The futuristic short film Sight [47] 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.

The first publicly unveiled working prototype of an AR contact lens not requiring the use of glasses in conjunction was developed by Mojo Vision and announced and shown off at CES Thomas A.

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.

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 [56] 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 , [58] 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.

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. 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. The fixed marks on an object's surface are stored in the memory of a computer. The computer also withdraws from its memory to present images realistically to the onlooker.

Projectors can also be used to display AR contents. The projector can throw a virtual object on a projection screen and the viewer can interact with this virtual object.

Projection surfaces can be many objects such as walls or glass panes. A key measure of AR systems is how realistically they integrate augmentations with the real world.

The software must derive real world coordinates, independent of camera, and camera images. That process is called image registration , and uses different methods of computer vision , mostly related to video tracking.

An augogram is a computer generated image that is used to create AR. Augography is the science and software practice of making augograms for AR.

Usually those methods consist of two parts. The first stage is to detect interest points , fiducial markers or optical flow in the camera images.

This step can use feature detection methods like corner detection , blob detection , edge detection or thresholding , and other image processing methods.

Some methods assume objects with known geometry or fiducial markers are present in the scene. In some of those cases the scene 3D structure should be calculated beforehand.

If part of the scene is unknown simultaneous localization and mapping SLAM can map relative positions.

If no information about scene geometry is available, structure from motion methods like bundle adjustment are used.

Mathematical methods used in the second stage include: projective epipolar geometry, geometric algebra , rotation representation with exponential map , kalman and particle filters, nonlinear optimization , robust statistics.

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.

To enable rapid development of augmented reality applications, some software development kits SDKs have emerged. The implementation of augmented reality in consumer products requires considering the design of the applications and the related constraints of the technology platform.

Since AR systems rely heavily on the immersion of the user and the interaction between the user and the system, design can facilitate the adoption of virtuality.

For most augmented reality systems, a similar design guideline can be followed. The following lists some considerations for designing augmented reality applications:.

Context Design focuses on the end-user's physical surrounding, spatial space, and accessibility that may play a role when using the AR system.

Designers should be aware of the possible physical scenarios the end-user may be in such as:. By evaluating each physical scenario, potential safety hazards can be avoided and changes can be made to greater improve the end-user's immersion.

UX designers will have to define user journeys for the relevant physical scenarios and define how the interface reacts to each.

Especially in AR systems, it is vital to also consider the spatial and surrounding elements that change the effectiveness of the AR technology.

Environmental elements such as lighting and sound can prevent the AR device sensor from detecting necessary data and ruin the immersion of the end-user.

Another aspect of context design involves the design of the system's functionality and its ability to accommodate user preferences.

It is important to note that in some situations, the application's functionality may hinder the user's ability. For example, applications that is used for driving should reduce the amount of user interaction and use audio cues instead.

Interaction design in augmented reality technology centers on the user's engagement with the end product to improve the overall user experience and enjoyment.

The purpose of interaction design is to avoid alienating or confusing the user by organizing the information presented. Since user interaction relies on the user's input, designers must make system controls easier to understand and accessible.

A common technique to improve usability for augmented reality applications is by discovering the frequently accessed areas in the device's touch display and design the application to match those areas of control.

In interaction design, it is important for developers to utilize augmented reality technology that complement the system's function or purpose.

In other applications that require users to understand the focus and intent, designers can employ a reticle or raycast from the device.

Augmented reality technology allows to utilize the introduction of 3D space. This means that a user can potentially access multiple copies of 2D interfaces within a single AR application.

In general, visual design is the appearance of the developing application that engages the user. To improve the graphic interface elements and user interaction, developers may use visual cues to inform the user what elements of UI are designed to interact with and how to interact with them.

Since navigating in an AR application may appear difficult and seem frustrating, visual cue design can make interactions seem more natural.

In some augmented reality applications that use a 2D device as an interactive surface, the 2D control environment does not translate well in 3D space making users hesitant to explore their surroundings.

To solve this issue, designers should apply visual cues to assist and encourage users to explore their surroundings.

It is important to note the two main objects in AR when developing VR applications: 3D volumetric objects that are manipulated and realistically interact with light and shadow; and animated media imagery such as images and videos which are mostly traditional 2D media rendered in a new context for augmented reality.

As such, designers can add weight to objects, use depths maps, and choose different material properties that highlight the object's presence in the real world.

Another visual design that can be applied is using different lighting techniques or casting shadows to improve overall depth judgment.

Augmented reality has been explored for many applications, from gaming and entertainment to medicine, education and business. Example application areas described below include archaeology, architecture, commerce and education.

Some of the earliest cited examples include augmented reality used to support surgery by providing virtual overlays to guide medical practitioners, to AR content for astronomy and welding.

AR has been used to aid archaeological research. By augmenting archaeological features onto the modern landscape, AR allows archaeologists to formulate possible site configurations from extant structures.

Each user can collaborate by mutually "navigating, searching, and viewing data". Hrvoje Benko, a researcher in the computer science department at Columbia University , points out that these particular systems and others like them can provide "3D panoramic images and 3D models of the site itself at different excavation stages" all the while organizing much of the data in a collaborative way that is easy to use.

Collaborative AR systems supply multimodal interactions that combine the real world with virtual images of both environments. AR can aid in visualizing building projects.

Computer-generated images of a structure can be superimposed onto a real-life local view of a property before the physical building is constructed there; this was demonstrated publicly by Trimble Navigation in AR can also be employed within an architect's workspace, rendering animated 3D visualizations of their 2D drawings.

Architecture sight-seeing can be enhanced with AR applications, allowing users viewing a building's exterior to virtually see through its walls, viewing its interior objects and layout.

With continual improvements to GPS accuracy, businesses are able to use augmented reality to visualize georeferenced models of construction sites, underground structures, cables and pipes using mobile devices.

Following the Christchurch earthquake , the University of Canterbury released CityViewAR, [] which enabled city planners and engineers to visualize buildings that had been destroyed.

AR systems are being used as collaborative tools for design and planning in the built environment. For example, AR can be used to create augmented reality maps, buildings and data feeds projected onto tabletops for collaborative viewing by built environment professionals.

Design options can be articulated on site, and appear closer to reality than traditional desktop mechanisms such as 2D maps and 3d models.

In educational settings, AR has been used to complement a standard curriculum. Text, graphics, video, and audio may be superimposed into a student's real-time environment.

Textbooks, flashcards and other educational reading material may contain embedded "markers" or triggers that, when scanned by an AR device, produced supplementary information to the student rendered in a multimedia format.

As AR evolves, students can participate interactively and interact with knowledge more authentically. Instead of remaining passive recipients, students can become active learners, able to interact with their learning environment.

Computer-generated simulations of historical events allow students to explore and learning details of each significant area of the event site.

In higher education, Construct3D, a Studierstube system, allows students to learn mechanical engineering concepts, math or geometry.

AR is used to substitute paper manuals with digital instructions which are overlaid on the manufacturing operator's field of view, reducing mental effort required to operate.

Digital instructions increase operator safety by removing the need for operators to look at a screen or manual away from the working area, which can be hazardous.

Instead, the instructions are overlaid on the working area. AR is used to integrate print and video marketing.

Printed marketing material can be designed with certain "trigger" images that, when scanned by an AR-enabled device using image recognition, activate a video version of the promotional material.

A major difference between augmented reality and straightforward image recognition is that one can overlay multiple media at the same time in the view screen, such as social media share buttons, the in-page video even audio and 3D objects.

Traditional print-only publications are using augmented reality to connect different types of media. AR can enhance product previews such as allowing a customer to view what's inside a product's packaging without opening it.

Scanned images of products can activate views of additional content such as customization options and additional images of the product in its use. By , virtual dressing rooms had been developed for e-commerce.

In , a mint used AR techniques to market a commemorative coin for Aruba. The coin itself was used as an AR trigger, and when held in front of an AR-enabled device it revealed additional objects and layers of information that were not visible without the device.

Apple has created an AR QuickLook Gallery that allows masses to experience augmented reality on their own Apple device. In , Shopify , the Canadian e-commerce company, announced ARkit2 integration.

Their merchants are able to use the tools to upload 3D models of their products. Users will be able to tap on the goods inside Safari to view in their real-world environments.

In , Twinkl released a free AR classroom application. Pupils can see how York looked over 1, years ago.

Augmented reality is becoming more frequently used for online advertising. Retailers offer the ability to upload a picture on their website and "try on" various clothes which are overlaid on the picture.

Even further, companies such as Bodymetrics install dressing booths in department stores that offer full-body scanning.

These booths render a 3-D model of the user, allowing the consumers to view different outfits on themselves without the need of physically changing clothes.

It contains a catalogue of over 2, products—nearly the company's full collection of sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and storage units which one can place anywhere in a room with their phone.

IKEA realized that their customers are not shopping in stores as often or making direct purchases anymore. AR applied in the visual arts allows objects or places to trigger artistic multidimensional experiences and interpretations of reality.

Augmented reality can aid in the progression of visual art in museums by allowing museum visitors to view artwork in galleries in a multidimensional way through their phone screens.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has created an exhibit in their art museum showcasing AR features that viewers can see using an app on their smartphone.

AR technology aided the development of eye tracking technology to translate a disabled person's eye movements into drawings on a screen.

AR technology can also be used to place objects in the user's environment. A Danish artist, Olafur Eliasson , is placing objects like burning suns, extraterrestrial rocks, and rare animals, into the user's environment.

Primary school children learn easily from interactive experiences. As an example, astronomical constellations and the movements of objects in the solar system were oriented in 3D and overlaid in the direction the device was held, and expanded with supplemental video information.

Paper-based science book illustrations could seem to come alive as video without requiring the child to navigate to web-based materials.

In , a project was launched on Kickstarter to teach about electronics with an educational toy that allowed children to scan their circuit with an iPad and see the electric current flowing around.

Apps that leverage augmented reality to aid learning included SkyView for studying astronomy, [] AR Circuits for building simple electric circuits, [] and SketchAr for drawing.

AR would also be a way for parents and teachers to achieve their goals for modern education, which might include providing more individualized and flexible learning, making closer connections between what is taught at school and the real world, and helping students to become more engaged in their own learning.

More recently, Oculus has seen success with the lower-price, lower-powered Oculus Go, and will see the release of multiple new iterations on the hardware, including the tethered Rift S and the stand-alone Oculus Quest.

No Resolution: 5. Tracking System: 3 degrees of freedom tracking Controller: Included Audio: Integrated speakers with spatial audio delivered through head strap and 3.

The Vive has been locked in fierce competition with the Oculus Rift since release, as both headsets aimed at the same top end of the VR enthusiast market.

The Vive has proven itself a durable workhorse for enterprise solutions, while also delivering one of the best consumer VR experiences available. The Vive was first released back in , and has gone through several iterations, with the addition of a wireless module.

Details remain scarce on the Cosmos, which looks like it may attempt to bridge the quality gap between tethered and untethered headsets.

The Cosmos will require tethering to another device, but it may not be limited to high-end gaming PCs.

A VR headset that can tether to a smartphone? Interesting idea. No word on price or release date for the Cosmos yet, but expect it sometime in the second half of These devices can sell for almost nothing and are often given away free , and deliver a scaled down VR experience that still approaches the immersive experiences generated by much-more expensive hardware.

Samsung has added hand controllers to the Gear VR experience, bringing it more in line with current VR content.

Google was there in the earliest days of this current VR cycle with Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself approach to mobile VR that has become a staple of trade shows — Cardboard was even given out free to New York Times subscribers, bundled with their Sunday paper.

But Google is not deterred! Additional VR HMDs made by companies both big and small are now hitting the market, making up for a lack of pedigree in the space with impressive tech specs and lower price points.

High-end PC with DisplayPort 1. Many other companies are developing Virtual Reality headsets and other peripherals.

As more and better hardware hits the market, it will continue to power a growing ecosystem of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and content providers.

In addition to all the hardware explored above, there is an ever-expanding number of other devices launched by lesser-known companies looking to grab mind and market share.

There remains a significant amount of confusion about the differences between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

Check out our exhaustive primers on Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality for an in-depth look at the differences. Mixed Reality devices like the Microsoft Hololens use a headset to overlay 3D imagery on top of the real world.

Very cool, but not Virtual Reality. We'll send you an email containing your password. Your password has been sent to:.

Please create a username to comment. Virtual reality can be the most important technology in these trying times.

Many do consider it to be a relatively new technology, even though it's origins range as back as s. These are the major milestones: Stereopsis Link Trainer Telesphere Mask Sensorama Ultimate Display Air Force Flight Simulator Sword of Damocles Video Place Super Cockpit Artificial Reality Naming Virtual Reality Virtuality

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