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This book provides an in-depth exploration of the field of augmented reality (AR) in its entirety and sets out to distinguish AR from other inter-related technologies like virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).

The author presents AR from its initial philosophies and early developments, to its current technologies and its impact on our modern society, to its possible future developments; providing readers with the tools to understand issues relating to defining, building, and using our perception of what is represented in our perceived reality, and ultimately how we assimilate and react to this information.

Augmented Reality: Where We Will All Live can be used as a comprehensive guide to the field of AR and provides valuable insights for technologists, marketers, business managers, educators and academics who are interested in the field of augmented reality; its concepts, history, practices and the science behind this rapidly advancing field of research and development.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Augmented reality will do more than just give us directions, and visualizations of products. In time, Augmented Reality will integrate with body sensors to monitor our temperature, oxygen level, glucose level, heartrate, EEG, and other important parameters. We will in effect be wearing the equivalent of the tricorder.
Augmented Reality evolved from a laboratory experiment to the military and then industrial applications. The military, industrial, and scientific users, with specific and urgent needs and budget constraints were able to tolerate the limitations in comfort and performance of early systems.
Science fiction has long been a predictor of future technologies and there are many examples of augmented reality imagined by artists, writers and scientists before the technology to realize such devices, environments, and oblique ideas where not widely available (or available at all), but work was going on to make augmented reality practical.
Augmented reality is thought of as a visual system, augmented what we see with information and graphics. However, one’s auditory senses can also benefit from augmented reality, with special location clues, and can be very helpful if one is blind, or partially blind.
Jon Peddie

2. Types of Augmented Reality

One of the most important parts of augmented reality is the ability of the user to see his or her environment. However, the augmented reality device also has to “see” it, and that involves a computer-based vision system. Augmented reality is an amazingly diverse, robust, and complicated field, and if ever there was an industry where one size does not fit all, it is the augmented reality arena.
There are seven classes of augmented reality systems: helmet, head-up display smart-glasses (Integrated, and add-on), projection, specialized and other.
Some of the glasses use audio as the information presentation (including navigation). Others, again designating themselves as offering augmented reality smart-glasses merely offer an embedded camera in a glasses frame.
Jon Peddie

3. We’ll All Be Experts Now

Augmented reality uses a personal display, up close to the user, to show him or her information, text, drawings, 3D objects, generated locally or remotely, by a computer. The overlay information is registered to the scene by a forward-looking camera and can show the skeletal structure of a building, or the location of a store, or the pipes beneath the sidewalk. It can translate in real time street signs, menus, newspapers, and manuals. It will make us all experts, with massive data at out beckoning.
Augmented reality is blurring the boundaries between the digital and physical world and moving us into a new level of contextuality. Augmented reality delivers rich experiences derived from the use of sensors, computing, artificial intelligence, and big data.
Jon Peddie

4. Overview of Augmented Reality System Organization

In order to appreciate the developments and advances in augmented reality is it necessary to have a general understanding of what makes up an augmented reality system.
Prolonged use of conventional stereo displays can cause viewer discomfort and fatigue because of the vergence accommodation. Visual fatigue and discomfort occur as the viewer attempts to adjust vergence and accommodation appropriately. (Vergence is the simultaneous movement of both eyes in opposite directions to obtain or maintain single binocular vision.)
Although augmented reality has been with us since 1961, like many developments it has had multiple lives, and several fathers. The problem is augmented reality is largely thought of as a technology.
Augmented reality is a very subjective and personal thing; all users will not see the same view of information about the world unless they choose to. Users will be able to subscribe to the data streams they prefer. The two major uses for augmented reality are to provide general information and/or specific instructions. There won’t be clear delineation between the two, but at the extremes the two will not overlap.
The major differentiation between informational and instructional augmented reality is the user’s interaction with the information being presented and the place where the user is. Augmented reality is taking training, operational, and informational content to new levels of user experience. It is an incorporation of computer-generated assets superimposed onto the user’s immediate surroundings through specialized hardware and software. Augmented reality has the unique ability to bridge the gap between training and operations, by integrating a highly-detailed 3D simulation and information of the most current equipment and facilities with which technicians, installation and repair personal, inspectors, engineers, and researchers will work.
Jon Peddie

5. Historical Overview

Although seeming new as it penetrates the consumer market, augmented reality can trace its roots back to the second world war, and conceptually even further to Pepper’s ghost in 1862.
Overlaying one image with another was employed in various methods from entertainment to weapons, and as might be imagined, weapon development provided the most resources and emphasis. The first application of electronics to augmented reality was done by the English when they adapted an airborne RADAR navigation system in a WWII de Havilland Mosquito night fighter. But it didn’t take long for the entertainment industry to employ the concept in TV right after the war. By the 1960s, small head-mounted displays were being experimented with and in the 1970s, with the ever-increasing miniaturization of electronics, augmented reality hit its stride, and things, as they always do, began to expand rapidly as more people got interested and involved.
Jon Peddie

6. Key Applications

The possibilities of augmented reality run the gamut from basic informational purposes to enterprise needs, fulfilling training and onsite job assistance. With modern computer-aided design (CAD) programs, it is possible to generate elaborate 3D representations of data that can lead us to spectacular insights of very complex relationships and to extend the value of the original design out to service and maintenance, facilities management, operations, etc.
Augmented reality will completely alter the education sector from training to sports to remedial education.
One of the first applications for augmented reality was how to repair a copying machine, and automotive repair. Augmented reality is also used as a tool for design review and to evaluate present models while design is still in the development stage. Virtual models that replace real ones are being used to inform customers and public about new products.
The medical field is so broad that there are dozens of applications, enough for a book of its own. From enabling health care workers in a hospital or doctor’s office to be mobile and still be able to access health records and/or enter data into forms, to providing telesense capabilities so a remotely located field medic can be guided by a physician from a hospital across the world.
The military has played an important role in the creation and development of wearable augmented reality, starting back in 1963 with Bell helicopter which inspired Ivan Sutherland
Augmented Reality is not a single thing, say like a PC or a smartphone. Rather it is collection of hardware and software capabilities with an almost endless list of applications. This is the good news in terms of the market opportunity and growth, and the bad news if you want to chronicle and analyze the technology and market.
It cannot be said too often that the needs and uses of commercial and enterprise augmented reality users are dramatically different from consumers. Whereas consumers are mostly concerned with appearance and price, commercial and enterprise users are more concerned with functionality and return on investment.
Jon Peddie

7. Software Tools and Technologies

Several companies are offering tool kits to aid developers in creating applications that work well in an augmented reality environment. A few of the most popular tools and APIs are covered in this chapter.
Large companies will usually have an advantage by offering partners advanced hardware and accompanying software tools. Nonetheless, the technology has demonstrated it does not love closed gardens especially at times when innovation is required to help nascent industries find their potential. Open standards will eventually win out to make room for new ideas and approaches.
Jon Peddie

8. Technology Issues

In this section, some of the key technical issues in building an augmented reality device are discussed. The number of sensors, and the technology associated with them, combined with the need to operate at low power and be lightweight, is an on-going challenge for the device builders.
Augmented reality systems (headsets, helmets, HUDs, etc.) must interact with our eyes and brain, and the eye-brain connection is a very powerful, amazingly complex and capable system.
Knowing where you are is one of the most critical functions in augmented reality. How can a system identify things and deliver potentially mission critical information in a timely manner if it doesn’t know where you are? But how does it know where you are?
The concept of voice control, like augmented and virtual reality, are terms that have been in our vocabulary for so long, many think they know what they are and how they work.
The use of hand gestures as a means of communicating and controlling the information provided by augmented reality systems provides an attractive alternative to cumbersome interface devices for human-computer interaction (HCI); hand gestures can help in achieving the ease and naturalness.
Eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze (where one is looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head. Eye-tracking is an old concept developed in the 1800s made using direct observations.
If ever the statement, “one size does not fit all,” was appropriate, it would be in the case of a user interface.
Jon Peddie

9. Suppliers

The augmented reality market has attracted interest since the early 1970s and that interest has never stopped. Slowed sometimes by technology limitations, and/or military budgets, in the 2000s with the advent of the smartphone and amazing sensors available for low prices, plus new low cost displays, the market has steadily expanded with new companies. Obviously, that can’t go on forever.
Jon Peddie

10. Conclusions and Future Possibilities

Augmented reality will touch all parts of our lives, our society, and the subsequent rules we live by. As we adapt to the new capabilities and power that augmented reality bestows on us, we will have to think about things differently and give up some cherished ideas and fantasies. It will change social mores and rules, and challenge those who hold power arbitrarily.
Jon Peddie

Backmatter

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