Augmented reality is the term for a live view of a real world environment whose surroundings are enhanced by virtual computer generated imagery. The idea is relatively straightforward: you take a real-life scene, or a video of a scene, and then augment it by enhancing what a person sees, hears, feels, and smells through explanatory data, graphics, and haptic feedback.
Although Augmented Reality has only recently become a widely used buzz word among technojunkies everywhere, it has actually been around for quite some time. The first well known examples of the use of AR are in the world of sports. For example, the yellow “first down” lines seen in broadcasts of American football games, the colored trail showing location and direction of the puck in TV broadcasts of ice hockey games, and the telecasts of swimming events which often have a virtual line indicating the position of the current world record holder. In the past, it used to take huge systems to achieve what people would see during these broadcasts.
Recently, with the proliferation of powerful smart phones and computers with built-in video and wireless capabilities, the use of AR technology has exponentially increased. Currently, AR is used in a variety of industries. Some of these include: advertising, navigation, industrial and manufacturing operations, military and emergency services, prospecting, architecture, sightseeing, entertainment, and education.
Everyone from students, to soldiers, to the person looking for the closest cinema, will benefit from Augmented Reality Technology.