Augmented reality is an enhanced version of reality in real time, created by the use of technology to overlay information on an image of something being viewed through a device. Augmented reality shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. The former highlights, or even creates digital images over the user’s visible environment, while the latter creates an alternative reality.
Simpler Augmented Reality applications for smartphones use GPS to pinpoint the user’s location, and to detect device orientation. More complex AR can include machine vision (with the use of cameras), object recognition and gesture recognition.
Many fields can make use of such technology. In the healthcare sector, AR devices can map the veins of the patients if they would be difficult to see. The devices then can project this “map” on the patient’s body.
It can also enhance the shopping experience. With the help of smartphones, the shopper, for example, can visualise furniture in different environments, or “try-on” different clothes.
One of the main breakthroughs in this field are AR glasses, providing near real time data overlaid onto images. When connected to a drone, the user can see the drone’s vision in first person view (FPV). It’s used in architecture, construction, energy and security for aerial inspections, among many other cases.