If you have ever visited our magazine or if you are a frequent visitor of technology blogs, Augmented Reality won’t catch you by surprise. But, as you will already know, it is an abstract concept that in many occasions has not been properly defined. We believe we have to be very familiar with this tool if we want to understand the multiple applications that can have. Therefore, in today’s article we are going to explain you the basic techniques needed to create an Augmented Reality experience. Are you ready?
As you all probably know Augmented Reality is a technology which integrates virtual elements at the environment that surrounds us. Therefore, to improve reality is necessary to rely on a content that will lead the experience. This additional content has different formats, we can speak about animations, images, 3D objects, videos or text fragments. Virtual elements are included in the Augmented Reality app and they are activatedand integrated in reality at the exact moment when they are established to.
“Augmented Reality needs from a good content to lead the experience”
They are four kinds of Augmented Reality and differ in the way in which the content is integrated to the experience. All of them have its particularities which make them more or less suitable for each solution. Let’s analyze them carefully.
1. Augmented Reality with signposts
These signposts are printed symbols or images on which the virtual elements are overlapped. This additional content appears when the Augmented Reality associated recognizes the signpost and activates the experience. In order to assure a correct function, the signpost has to be in a flat surface and the device at a suitable distance. In some cases, when the camera stops pointing the signpost the virtual content disappears from the screen. In other cases, the signpost is exclusively used to activate the experience and the 3D maintains at the screen even though the device changes its position.
If you want to know more about this first type of Augmented Reality we will leave you here some examples. In Imascono we have developed several projects of Augmented Reality with signpost. In addition, this technique has also been implemented in our range of educational apps Chromville.
Other example of Augmented Reality with signpost is the enterprise Aurasma. This company from London has on the market a mobile app that allows the user to create AR experiences associated to the objects they want to use as signposts.
2. Augmented Reality through tangible objects
Augmented Reality from physical forms is the most unlikely modality of all four. This kind of technology is not sensitive to the environment but it uses the concrete objects to activate and to display the information. As there are no signposts, devices needs a major power of calculation to process the virtual reality elements, this means that phones or much more powerful machines are needed to achieve that the experience works correctly.
3. Smart Terrain
Nowadays, the interaction between the environment and the virtual elements is still one of the objects of study at the I+D department in the big technological enterprises. The third kind of AR is an example of what this technology can become without signposts. We are referring to the “Smart Terrain” function, included at the Software Platform Vuforia. It is a question of an engine that turns everyday objects- a cup, a book or the TV command- into the perfect scene for an AR experience or a videogame.
4. Augmented reality by geolocalization
The last one of AR types of our list has become a worldwide phenomenon thanks to Pokemon GO launch. This is the AR by positioning/location, modality in which the device combines the information offered by the GPS and the information unloaded from the internet with an endless number of combinations and dynamics that spread the game to any part of the planet.