A definition of Augmented Reality — the vision of our engineers at Wezit:
(to continue the discussion / see more: come to our Museum Next workshop on AR: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/museum-next-wezit-workshop-tickets-34315699180)
Augmented reality is a concept which refers to all the techniques allowing to increase our perception of the environment surrounding us by the addition, in real time, of different types of information. These information can concern our five senses.
However, they are, most of the time, visual information (texts, symbols, images, 3D objects). The increased reality can, thus, be seen as a way of stacking, in real time, virtual elements into real images.
The concept of the augmented reality is not new.
In fact, the term “Augmented Reality” appeared at the beginning of the 90s. However, augmented reality actually met a real public success only after the selling of smartphones and tablets.
An application of augmented reality consists in capturing a real scene and in interpreting it to detect elements which can be used as marks to insert digital objects. For example, to show glasses on your face, it is necessary to detect, first of all, the position of your eyes.
So we can say that an application of augmented reality:
1) Captures the real environment (often through a camera)
2) Interprets the real environment to bind it to the digital elements that are to be implemented
3) Insert the digital elements into the real environment and shows users the result (for example: via the screen of its smartphone).
From a technical point of view, in closed areas such as museums and historic sites, it is relatively easy to introduce augmented reality.
Visual markers, useful for the positioning, can be placed in various places of the visit and aimed at through the camera of a smartphone or a digital tablet to see the “augmented” scene.
However, the use of tags turns out impossible in numerous applications, in particular those happening outdoor. In this context, image processing methods are used with the aim of detecting points of location in the picked up scene.
Augmented reality must not be mistaken with virtual reality which fakes an entirely artificial universe. The concept of virtual reality refers to techniques allowing to simulate a 3D environment, with which the user can interact. The user is immersed in this environment and can manipulate objects or execute a series of moves.
The virtual reality applications are often used through virtual reality helmets, omnidirectional treadmills and sensory gloves.