The Use Of Augmented Reality Computer Science Essay

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Drawing on the research literature, evaluate under what circumstances is the use of augmented reality best warranted as a geographical communication strategy. Building on this base, storyboard a novel example of geographically contextualized augmented reality relevant to your particular degree and argue the case for this application as a strong example that makes the most of the technical affordances.

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one's current perception of reality.

Ronald Azuma offered a definition in 1997. Azuma's definition says that Augmented Reality combines real and virtual, is interactive in real time and is registered in 3D. Additionally Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino defined Milgram's Reality-Virtuality Continuum in 1994. They describe a continuum that spans an entirely real environment to a purely virtual environment. In between are Augmented Reality (closer to the real environment) and Augmented Virtuality (closer to the virtual environment).

In his earlier definition Azuma (1997) compares AR to Virtual Environments (VE) but differentiates the two by stating that where VE technologies completely immerse a user inside a synthetic environment in which a user is unable to see the real word, AR on the other hand allows the user to be able to see the real world with virtual objects superimposed with the real world (1997, p. 2). AR technology consist of a display device such as a mobile phone, PDA or a head-mounted display that shows the real physical environment on which it overlays digital information.

AR has distinct advantages over other forms of visualization in at least three aspects:

From the perspective of visualization, the real world can significantly mitigate the efforts of creating and rendering contextual models for virtual objects, and provide a better perception about the surroundings than pure virtual reality, e.g. visualization of construction simulations (Behzadan, et al.,2007), and visualization of architectural designs (Thomas, et al., 1999);

From the perspective of information retrieval, AR supplements user's normal experience with context-related or Georeferenced virtual objects, e.g. looking through the walls to see columns (Webster, et al., 1996), and looking beneath the ground to inspect subsurface utilities (Roberts, et al., 2002);

From the perspective of evaluation, authentic virtual models can be deployed to measure the physical condition of real objects, e.g. evaluation of earthquake-induced building damage (Kamat, et al., 2007), and automation of construction process monitoring (Golparvar-Fard, et al., 2009).

The goal of Augmented reality is to add information and meaning to a real object or place. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulation of reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space as the foundation and incorporates technologies that add contextual data to deepen a person's understanding of the subject. For example, by superimposing imaging data from an MRI onto a patient's body, augmented reality can help a surgeon pinpoint a tumor that is to be removed. In this case, the technology used might include headgear worn by the surgeon combined with a computer interface that maps data to the person lying on the operating table. In other cases, augmented reality might add audio commentary, location data, historical context, or other forms of content that can make a user's experience of a thing or a place more meaningful.

Many augmented reality projects use headgear or a similar device that projects data into the user's field of vision, corresponding with a real object or space the user is observing. In the case of a technical course on PC maintenance, for example, augmented reality might overlay a schematic diagram onto the inside of a computer, allowing students to identify the various components and access technical specifications about them. PDAs or other portable devices can use GPS data to provide users with context- including visual, audio, or text-based data-about real objects or places. Augmented reality is not merely a companion text or multimedia file but a technology designed to "see" a real object or place and provide the user with appropriate information at the right time. Augmented reality is designed to blur the line between the reality the user is experiencing and the content provided by technology.

AR has become common in sports telecasting. The yellow "first down" line seen in television broadcasts of American football games shows the line the offensive team must cross to receive a first down using the 1st & Ten system. The real-world elements are the football field and players, and the virtual element is the yellow line, which augment the image in real time. Similarly, in ice hockey an AR colored trail shows location and direction of the puck. Sections of Rugby fields and cricket pitches display sponsored images.

Swimming telecasts often add a line across the lanes to indicate the position of the current record holder as a race proceeds to allow viewers to compare the current race to the best performance.

As an example of mediated (diminished) reality, the network may hide a real message or replace a real ad message with a virtual message. First-person shooter video games can simulate a player's viewpoint using AR to give visual directions to a location, mark the direction distance of another person who is not in line of sight and give information about equipment such as remaining ammunition. This is done using a virtual head-up display. Heads-up displays in AR cars such as some BMW 7 Series models or within airplanes are typically integrated into the windshield. The F-35 Lightning II instead display information in the pilot's helmet mounted display, which allows the pilot to look through the aircraft's walls as if he was floating in space.

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 alternate versions of the vehicle. In August 2009, 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 AR to connect a movie experience to outdoor advertising.

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. AR can enhance viewing a fetus inside a mother's womb.

AR can augment the effectiveness of navigation devices. For example, building navigation can be enhanced to aid in maintaining industrial plants. Outdoor navigation can be augmented for military operations or disaster management. Head-up displays or personal display glasses in automobiles can provide navigation and traffic information. Head-up displays are currently used in fighter jets. These systems include full interactivity, including gaze tracking.

AR can be used to compare digital mock-ups with physical mock-ups for efficiently finding discrepancies between them. It can safeguard digital data together with existing real prototypes, and thus reduce the number of real prototypes and improve the quality of the final product. Wearable AR can provide information such as instructions, maps, enemy locations, and fire cells.

AR can help create art in real time integrating reality such as painting, drawing and modeling. AR art technology has helped disabled individuals to continue pursuing their passion. AR can simulate planned construction projects.

Guides can include labels or text related to the objects/places visited. With AR, users can rebuild ruins, buildings, or even landscapes as they previously existed. AR can help facilitate collaboration among distributed team members via conferences with real and virtual participants. AR can create virtual objects in museums and exhibitions, theme park attractions, games and books.

Conclusively, the use of augmented reality as a geographic communication strategy cannot be overemphasized. This paper has reviewed and highlighted a number of areas that can utilize AR with some selected examples from the literature. From the above literature review, augmented reality has been identified as an appropriate visualization and communication medium.