Making abstract concrete — Augmented reality and how it’s different from virtual reality.

Microsoft Hololens, source: Google images

What is augmented reality, and how it is different from virtual reality?

Let’s start with defining the two terms. Augmented comes from ‘augment’ which means to make something greater by adding to it, or simply, to increase. Errr, not exactly that.

Yes, that is better.

Reality is what you see around you with your eyes, or phones with cameras.

The first uses of augmented reality was in the display for a fighter pilot as far back as the 90s. Augmented reality added a layer of useful information to the pilot’s view of reality which enabled him to view vital information while still concentrating on the target/without having to look down at the dashboard.

This kind of technology is now available for smartphones, but instead of flight information, you can see information about the world around you.

How does it work? Let’s say you are walking the streets of Pittsburgh and you come across an amazing building. What is this building? Who was the architect?

You hold your smartphone up and look at the building through the phone’s camera. After figuring out where you are, the application searches the internet and in a couple of seconds, it has identified the building and even leads you to a page with more information about the building.

You saw how Augmented reality added a layer of digital information over the real world.

How is augmented reality different from virtual reality? Let’s look at an example. In the case of Virtual reality, by putting a headset over your eyes, you can be on mars, while standing where you are. So, you will be standing on mars, and will see the surface of the mars when you look around. Virtual reality leaves you blind to reality and represent your presence elsewhere, in this case, mars.

On the other hand, Augmented reality does not change our context. It only takes our current reality and adds something to it. Therefore, with augmented reality, you will see the moon augmented on the wall of your room.

The possibilities with augmented reality are endless. Keep your eye out for augmented reality as layers of digital information for your reality.

Welcome to the future!


October 11
With the narrative for the video ready, I have to now sketch the actors that will be a part of the video. What do actors mean? Are they the elements that appear in the video? Buildings? People? Even text? One the actors are on paper, relationships between the actors will have to be established. This will help in planning for the storyboard which is the next task.


October 12
Here are the key frames and the corresponding animation.

Welcome to Episode 23 of ‘What Really Is’. Today we will see, what really is augmented reality, and how it is different from virtual reality. Let’s start with what the two words mean. Augmented comes from ‘augment’ which means to make something greater by adding to it, or simply, to increase. Reality is what you see around you with your eyes, or phones with cameras.
Augmented reality is technology that, first and foremost, allow viewers to see a real world around them. Information is then overlaid onto the real world. What that means is, with augmented reality enabled technology, you can see the world around you with a layer of digital information from the internet.
Some of the early uses of augmented reality was in the display for a fighter pilot. Augmented reality added a layer of useful information to the pilots view of reality. This kind of technology is now available for even your smartphones. but instead of flight information, you can see information about the world around you. That’s augmented reality.
Let’s say you are walking the streets of Pittsburgh and ….
…. you suddenly come across an amazing building. What is this building? Who was the architect?
So you hold your smartphone up and look at the building through the phone. The phone uses its built-in GPS system to figure out roughly where you are, then quickly searches the internet and in a couple of seconds, it’s identified the building and even leads you to a Wikipedia page telling you all about it. Therefore, Augmented reality is a view of the real-world environment whose elements are augmented with information.
One of the biggest confusions in the world of augmented reality is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality. So what is the difference? Augmented and virtual reality have one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ, is the perception of our presence. Virtual reality is able to transpose the user. In other words, bring us some place else. Through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere. Let’s take an example. By putting a VR headset over your eyes, you can experience Paris while standing where you are. So, you will be standing in Paris and will see the streets of Paris when you look around you. This will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within Paris.
Augmented reality takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. Therefore in this case, you can see the eiffel tower augmented on the floor of your room. Welcome to the future!

These are the frames between every cut. Each of these frames constitute a scene. Each scene will require many more frames.


October 13
I am thinking of making a paper cut-out stop motion animation. Something like this:

Franky — Paper Cutout Stop Motion Animation, by Julie Maya

I will mostly keep everything in grayscale and bring in colour only when something is augmented. All reality in grayscale, any digital augmentation in colour.

Another option is to shoot a video with paper cut-outs, by moving them in and out in real time, something like this:

Source: simpleshow.com

The narrative is finalized (above). Have a recording of the narrative. After having sketched the key frames, I worked on the storyboard, paragraph by paragraph (images to be added). Have started making digital illustrations of the key frames.

The first uses of augmented reality was in the display for a fighter pilot as far back as the 90s. Augmented reality added a layer of useful information to the pilot’s view of reality which enabled him to view vital information while still concentrating on the target/without having to look down at the dashboard. This kind of technology is now available for smartphones, but instead of flight information, you can see information about the world around you.
Let’s say you are walking the streets of Pittsburgh and you come across an amazing building. What is this building? Who was the architect? You hold your smartphone up and look at the building through the phone’s camera. After figuring out where you are, the application searches the internet and in a couple of seconds, it has identified the building and even leads you to a Wikipedia page with more information about the building. You saw how Augmented reality added a layer of digital information over the real world.
By putting a Virtual reality headset over your eyes, you can be on the moon, while standing where you are. So, you will be standing on the moon, and will see the surface of the moon when you look around. This will leave you blind to the current world, but will ensure an immersive experience within the moon.

October 20
I have decided not to do a paper cut out animation and instead face my fear of After effects. Here are the simplified illustrations:


October 25
The script has undergone another round of edits (please scroll to the top to read).


November 7
And it’s done! After searching for hours for suitable music, I settled for no music.