Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Augmented Reality

In the past three decades, more and more young people have been turning to videogames for entertainment, for the opportunity to interact with other gamers in a virtual sphere. A recent evolution in gaming promises to pull graphics out of a computer display and integrate them into the real world, a new technology called augmented reality.

Hold on, you’re probably saying. Isn’t that what virtual reality already does?

Not quite, but that question is definitely a fair one.

Mashable defines virtual reality as a technology that replaces the real world with a simulated one, whereas augmented reality occurs in real time and enhances current perception of reality—information about the real world becomes interactive and malleable. With augmented reality, artificial information can be overlaid in the real world.

It almost sounds too good to be true, this idea that a person could use his or her iPhone to overlay a map of downtown Burlington in the late 1800s atop the modern city structure. But it’s happening. And it’s pretty cool, too.

A Business2Community article from early 2012 detailed ten augmented reality campaigns circling the web: one details how consumers can look inside a box before making a purchase where another enhances print media by enabling a reader to use an iPhone app to see the consequences of domestic violence.

Beyond the interesting videos, the Business2Community article expertly illustrates the versatility of augmented reality, that it can be used for advertisements and non-profit promotions, for education and consumerism, not just for videogames. 

In many ways it seems like a concept we would expect Doc and Marty to deal with in a Back to the Future movie, but it will likely be a reality of our digital lives very soon.

How would you like to see consumers using augmented reality?  

Picture: Mashable.com

Written by Jillian Casey '15 

No comments: