Augment your Reality

Azuma provides a great synopsis of some of the advances in Augmented Reality(AR) (in 2001), as well as raises some important points about future work that will be needed in the field. Augmented reality often brings to minded science fiction type technology. However, the reality is that advances in AR mean that widespread consumer products are not too far away. Indeed, many of the devices we now take for granted, especially smartphones, feature the use of AR technologies. Certain apps , such as Google Sky map- using the phones magnetometer, it project a view of the stars and planets in the sky, all based on where the phone is pointing. Other apps that come to mind include wikitudes, which can overlay relevant geographic detail information, based on where the camera on the phone is facing.

One exciting portion of the field concerns the use of Head Worn Displays (HWD). Azuma provides a great overview of the state of the field in 2001. However, as technology has evolved, some of the concerns and limitations have been resolved. Exciting technology, such as the new Google Glass, hold the potential to take AR technology to the next level. Problems such as size and weight have been resolved- these new “glasses” are extremely light, and really not that bad looking. In addition, with a projected cost of less than $1500, they are really not that far off from being a mainstream. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these new technologies are far from perfect. Google Glass is dependent on wifi or a bluetooth connection to a mobile phone- not exactly the epitomy of mobility. However, they provide a product thats one step closer to making Augmented Reality technology…well, a reality to the everyday person.

-Victor Manuel



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