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It all started off some 40 years ago with video games. Remember the excitement in your little one's eyes when you first showed him the racing car video game? With technology extending the dimensions of photo-realism limitlessly, graphics have become much more sophisticated than ever before. Developers all the world over are now trying to take graphics out of your computer and television, introducing it to the real world environments. The technology, named as "Augmented Reality", blurs the line between what's real and what's digital; by rapidly enhancing our senses.

Augment reality chart cabot

To geeks, AR may not be a very new concept. But chances are rare that they would have considered it to be the " Idea GenNext". In simple terms, it combines two words, "augmented", meaning enhanced and "reality", which put together simply means enhanced reality. All what you need is a smart device with camera and sensors, this technology can work wonders by adding multiple layers of digital information - in the form of videos, photos, sounds, instructions - directly on top of the real world.

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Just in case you are not an ardent techie, you needn't tilt your head to the opposite side feeling "not my cup of tea". Coming up is an augmented era, wherein anything and everything that you see, hear, feel and understand is going to be AR supported. Development centres are all bustling with trials to develop applications - all on mobile devices.  Unlike the other geeky innovations, AR applications are expected to win the hearts of the masses, thanks to its everyday applicability. Imagine the plight of finding a vegetarian restaurant in a new city. With an AR application, all what you need to do is point your camera to the nearby buildings and it would automatically locate the restaurant of your choice. Hold your phone upright to identify not just the restaurant, but any landmarks, geo- tagged entries, or even track your parked vehicle.


Ask regular travellers, they would say how annoying it is to track and follow the traffic rules of a new place. With AR to support you, this worry is no longer in place. Auto generated audio-visual warnings through your smart devices come for rescue while getting off the road or collision possibilities. If reading a board in an unknown language at a remote place was disturbing, simply hold your phone upright to convert the board display into a language of your choice through your screen. For all those staying away from home, if mom's special recipe is what you are craving for, AR is again a boon. Wearable devices like glasses, supported with AR helps in finding you the right ingredients visually through the glass even when your hands are dipped in the wheat flour. What more, Information on anything and everything in real time is now possible with this. If you happen to spot anything strange or new, say a constellation, simply point your phone towards it and get all related information real time. In case you are an artist or a graphic designer, the technology allows you capture your favorite colors from real world and store it as a code to use it elsewhere.


Still in the process of a full fledged market release, AR supported devices however pose a million dollar concerns and challenges.  Just like a double headed sword, there is an element of too much information involved here. When an AR application takes over a tour guide, reduced human interaction or dependence is a major ethical issue raised. Image recognition technology, coupled with AR, would result in getting any information about a stranger, simply by pointing your phone towards him. A serious privacy concern stems here questioning the security of each individual. Despite of these concerns and challenges, AR and its possibilities expand enormously at innovation labs across the globe. There isn't a sphere of life which hasn't been influenced by this great technology. Already stamped as an innovation promising to explore the possibilities limitlessly - from sports, fun,education, games to even medicine, military and Engineering, AR is augmenting the real world. The Signal is green - Time for us to keep ourselves equipped for the technological revolution ahead.



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