Augmented reality. Does the human perception of the world really limit us?

Reality and virtual elements

From the beginning of humankind, we are witnessing the growth of technics of fixing and transferring images. Starting from a cave painting, through paintings and photos, and ending on movies or even holograms. In the past few decades, the greatest emphasis in this area is on the enhancement of human experience of displaying images. A range of approaches towards the interaction with virtual reality emerged. Among these methods we can distinguish three main subject areas:

  • 3D movies (three-dimensional)
  • VR (virtual reality)
  • AR (augmented reality)

World and reality

Since we are living in an era of increasing world digitalization and rising accessibility of the above-mentioned methods for image delivery, I definitely more often think about several related matters.

– How should I use them today?

– Whether, and how much these elements are going to be a part of our reality in the future?

– Covering reality and widening it with extra elements – what is it and what is it supposed to be for me? A curiosity? A pastime? An educational tool? A work tool? Or maybe an item to be used on a daily basis?

These are the questions I would like to answer with this text.

AR: What is it really?

Among those listed methods the least developed and because of that the least known is Augmented Reality. I would like to focus on this topic here. By using powerful machines and advanced algorithms this technology allows applying virtual images on the reality perceived by the human eye. So, in other words, by wearing augmented reality glasses we still see the world around us, but we can add and see elements that do not exist there.

AR: Curiosity

The first thing that attracts my attention when I see new technology is whether this thing is interesting, intriguing, just cool. With that same attitude I faced the AR glasses – in this case, the first generation of Microsoft Hololens – displaying additional objects in the room, a picture on the wall, a vase on the table or even a ballerina dancing in the middle of the room.

All of this made a so-called WOW effect… at least at the beginning.

After the next few displayed objects I put off this device with a thought: Cool toy, but it has not got me just enough to fully grab my attention, especially since that device costs almost 4000$.

AR: Pastime

Since I am really familiar with computer games technologies and broadly understand digital entertainment, after some time I started thinking about the possibilities of using augmented reality in the entertainment industry. The headset with position detection, without unnecessary cables and with visibility of real objects for greater player immersion sounds great… and so it is, but currently ( I believe that will be improved with next generations of such devices) this technology is too young, hardware limitations are too large to display complicated effects and to allow for advanced interaction with objects. But I definitely can imagine myself in a few years in an open space with a headset (or its even smaller version – glasses) playing a game character in a first-person perspective.

AR: Education

This is the field where I see the greatest use for AR. Let’s imagine a very expensive machine and a company that has a couple of those across the country. They have one extra machine in their training centre. This machine can be used by only one person at a time and the training takes a few days. As you can imagine the training process of new employees, in this case, is very expensive.

So that’s where augmented reality comes in!

It is enough to build a mock-up with right buttons, levers, and headset, cover mock-up with images of the machine (like screens and indicators) and make it look almost like a real one and you will be able to evaluate the working process.

AR: Specialist work

Using augmented reality can be very useful for several professions. It goes mostly for broadly understood space design.

By using AR devices, when we already have prepared elements, we can easily manipulate them (place, link, create new). I recommend watching the Iron Man movie – our technology may not be as advanced as the one shown in it, but we are on the right track.

Another use is to display objects in their original scale at the destination place. It allows one to assess whether given item or object fits into the environment.

AR: An everyday thing

At the current level of technological development and prices, I think that wide, daily use of augmented reality devices is not yet possible.

But as it very often proves to be the case with technology, in the future it can be implemented in daily life.

One of the most significant examples could be holographic calls. Of course, not as advanced as in the Star Wars movies (yet), but I can imagine creating a person’s model, uploading it to a user device and displaying it during a call, also with voice analysing in emotion detection context.

Conclusion: AR today and tomorrow

In summary, augmented reality is taking its first steps in today’s world, or maybe I should say: its first objects? We already can experience AR to some degree. There are several cases of use, but financial and technological limitations do influence a wider range of exposition. However, in my opinion, we should not look for possibilities and usage of AR today, but rather focus on tomorrow.

Have I answered the questions asked at the beginning? I think I have.

And you, have you encountered use of augmented reality in your life and how do you see yourself in a reality which can be fully seen by you only?

About the Author: Łukasz Frandt

Łukasz Frandt Cybercom People Makers of tomorrow

Łukasz discovered the IT industry and programming very early in his life: he learned the multiplication table through programs his mother wrote on Atari. During his career, he used many programming languages and worked at different projects as a developer for backend, frontend, full-stack and currently Cloud.

In private Łukasz is a huge fan of new technologies, especially on the software side that he enjoys testing. Being into constant self-development, Łukasz follows trends and right now he explores IoT and quantum programming. He goes by the motto “Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer”.

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    2019-09-27T07:50:22+00:00September 27th, 2019|articles, digital sustainability|1 Comment

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