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Augmented reality - the basics

Augmented reality is not a new technology, but thanks to Pokemon GO, many people have found out about it and started using it. However, the potential of this technology goes beyond its use in gaming. Proof of this is projects such as Google Tango and Microsoft HoloLens. Android Authority found it necessary to tell us more about the added reality.

What does it augment?

The augmented reality combines real-world data with computer-generated data, not limited to images and sound, but also offers other sensory enhancements.

How does it work?

For smartphones, Augmented works with an app that searches for a marker, usually a black and white bar code. Once the tag is found, the application overlays the 3D object. Using the phone's camera to monitor the relative position of the device and the tag, the user is able to walk around and view the object from all angles. This is associated with a heavy load on the phone as it tracks its position as well as the position of the marker to make the 3D object look natural

Games like Pokemon Go augmented reality slightly differently. Instead of using physical objects, the Pokemon Go game overlays a 3D virtual object with added depth. You can move safely, and this object will be in front of you, provided you are pointing at it. Nowadays, smartphones mostly benefit from the basic applications of augmented reality. More practical uses require special devices such as Microsoft HoloLens.

How is the technology created?

There are a few AR SDKs available: Vuforia - developed by Qualcomm, this SDK supports Android and iOS. ARLab - ARLab has a 3D engine that can be used to make AR applications. ARLab is not free and offers several different pricing options depending on what features you want to include in your app. DroidAR - DroidAR is an open source AR SDK that supports image tracking and markers as well as location based on added reality.

Unity - the package is part of Android Studio.

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