Technology has come so far, that nowadays we can use it to enhance the physical world we see and live in, in real time. Augmented reality is one of the latest digital inventions that can actually blend real life and virtual reality. But how exactly does it work and what can we use it for?
Augmented reality basically takes a pre-established set of digital information and overlays it onto the physical world. The process involves two elements: a camera and a target image. The camera detects the target image and projects digital information onto it, thus making it move and come to life. The camera has sensors that detect how far we are from the target image and adjust the projection accordingly. We can use either a cell phone camera or a tablet camera and all you have to do is download an app created for augmented reality. The target image also needs to have the right parameters set around it in order to be read by the camera, but as long as you have the app, you can use it with any designed image.
Unlike virtual reality which transposes you into a completely artificial universe, augmented reality allows users to stay in touch with the real world while interacting with virtual objects.
Now that we understand how it works, the more important question is: How can we use it?
Augmented reality can help us see how a certain piece of furniture would look like in our house before buying it, in actual size; it can work as a translator: we just point the camera towards the text image that we want translated and the screen will directly show the translated version; it can also help you turn your children’s books into pure magic: direct the camera towards the page of the book that we are interested in and the characters will literally come to life. Kids will be twice as fascinated by their bedtime stories and they will be much more attracted to educational activities performed using augmented reality .