Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Augmented Reality Applications

Current applications

Advertising: Marketers started to use AR to promote products via interactive AR applications. For example, at the 2008 LA Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the concept vehicle Cube and presented visitors with a brochure which, when held against a webcam, showed several versions of the vehicle. In August 2009,discrepancies Best Buy ran a circular with an augmented reality code that allowed users with a webcam to interact with the product in 3D. In 2010 Walt Disney used mobile augmented reality to connect a movie experience to outdoor advertising.

Support with complex tasks: Complex tasks such as assembly, maintenance, and surgery can be simplified by inserting additional information into the field of view. For example, labels can be displayed on parts of a system to clarify operating instructions for a mechanic who is performing maintenance on the system. AR can include images of hidden objects, which can be particularly effective for medical diagnostics or surgery. Examples include a virtual X-ray view based on prior tomography or on real time images from ultrasound and microconfocal probes or open NMR devices. A doctor could observe the fetus inside the mother's womb. See also Mixed reality.

Navigation devices: AR can augment the effectiveness of navigation devices for a variety of applications. For example, building navigation can be enhanced for the purpose of maintaining industrial plants. Outdoor navigation can be augmented for military operations or disaster management. Head-up displays or personal display glasses in automobiles can be used to provide navigation hints and traffic information. These types of displays can be useful for airplane pilots, too. Head-up displays are currently used in fighter jets as one of the first AR applications. These include full interactivity, including eye pointing.

Industrial Applications: AR can be used to compare the data of digital mock-ups with physical mock-ups for efficiently finding discrepancies between the two sources. It can further be employed to safeguard digital data in combination with existing real prototypes, and thus save or minimize the building of real prototypes and improve the quality of the final product.

Military and emergency services: AR can be applied to military and emergency services as wearable systems to provide information such as instructions, maps, enemy locations, and fire cells.

Prospecting: In the fields of hydrology, ecology, and geology, AR can be used to display an interactive analysis of terrain characteristics. Users could use, and collaboratively modify and analyze, interactive three-dimensional maps.

Art: AR can be incorporated into artistic applications that allow artists to create art in real time over reality such as painting, drawing, modeling, etc. One such example of this phenomenon is called Eyewriter that was developed in 2009 by Zachary Lieberman and a group formed by members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks and the Graffiti Research Lab to help a graffiti artist, who became paralyzed, draw again.

Architecture: AR can be employed to simulate planned construction projects.

Sightseeing: Models may be created to include labels or text related to the objects/places visited. With AR, users can rebuild ruins, buildings, or even landscapes as they previously existed.

Collaboration: AR can help facilitate collaboration among distributed team members via conferences with real and virtual participants. The Hand of God is a good example of a collaboration system.

Entertainment and education: AR can be used in the fields of entertainment and education to create virtual objects in museums and exhibitions, theme park attractions (such as Cadbury World), games (such as ARQuake) and books.

Music: Pop group Duran Duran included interactive AR projections into their stage show during their 2000 Pop Trash concert tour. Sydney band Lost Valentinos launched the world's first interactive AR music video on 16 October 2009, where users could print out 5 markers representing a pre-recorded performance from each band member which they could interact with live and in real-time via their computer webcam and record as their own unique music video clips to share via YouTube.

Future applications
It is important to note that augmented reality is a costly development in technology. Because of this, the future of AR is dependent on whether or not those costs can be reduced in some way. If AR technology becomes affordable, it could be very widespread but for now major industries are the sole buyers that have the opportunity to utilize this resource.
Expanding a PC screen into the real environment: program windows and icons appear as virtual devices in real space and are eye or gesture operated, by gazing or pointing. A single personal display (glasses) could concurrently simulate a hundred conventional PC screens or application windows all around a user
Virtual devices of all kinds, e.g. replacement of traditional screens, control panels, and entirely new applications impossible in "real" hardware, like 3D objects interactively changing their shape and appearance based on the current task or need.
Enhanced media applications, like pseudo holographic virtual screens, virtual surround cinema, virtual 'holodecks' (allowing computer-generated imagery to interact with live entertainers and audience)
Virtual conferences in "holodeck" style
Replacement of cellphone and car navigator screens: eye-dialing, insertion of information directly into the environment, e.g. guiding lines directly on the road, as well as enhancements like "X-ray"-views
Virtual plants, wallpapers, panoramic views, artwork, decorations, illumination etc., enhancing everyday life. For example, a virtual window could be displayed on a regular wall showing a live feed of a camera placed on the exterior of the building, thus allowing the user to effectually toggle a wall's transparency
With AR systems getting into mass market, we may see virtual window dressings, posters, traffic signs, Christmas decorations, advertisement towers and more. These may be fully interactive even at a distance, by eye pointing for example.
Virtual gadgetry becomes possible. Any physical device currently produced to assist in data-oriented tasks (such as the clock, radio, PC, arrival/departure board at an airport, stock ticker, PDA, PMP, informational posters/fliers/billboards, in-car navigation systems, etc.) could be replaced by virtual devices that cost nothing to produce aside from the cost of writing the software. Examples might be a virtual wall clock, a to-do list for the day docked by your bed for you to look at first thing in the morning, etc.
Subscribable group-specific AR feeds. For example, a manager on a construction site could create and dock instructions including diagrams in specific locations on the site. The workers could refer to this feed of AR items as they work. Another example could be patrons at a public event subscribing to a feed of direction and information oriented AR items.
AR systems can help the visually impaired navigate in a much better manner (combined with a text-to-speech software).
Computer games which make use of position and environment information to place virtual objects, opponents, and weapons overlaid in the player's visual field.