Augmented Reality is the bridge between the virtual and physical world. Devices can overlay images and holograms into the real world using a video-capturing device like a camera and a screen. This tool can be used throughout many applications from games to engineering. The power is almost infinite.
Microsoft is using augmented technology to create a "mixed" reality for its device called the Hololens. Short for holographic lenses. The Hololens uses a special holographic processing unit and multiple sensors to bring 3D objects "into" the real world. The unit uses hand gestures and voice recognition as input and can also display objects created in a regular pc. It is a standalone device that can be used for engineering, practice surgery, and even as a personal computer.
The Hololens creates a huge opportunity in the medical field by allowing doctors and students preparing to obtain their doctorates in the medical field practice something as delicate as a surgery without having to perform a vivisection or use a body that was donated to science. The ability to practice surgeries would perfect the way doctors perform surgeries by being able to practice them in a virtual environment with the ability to practice over and over. No longer would they be witheld from performing a surgery for the first time as now they can practice beforehand. Additionally, students will be able to examine the anatomy of a human being more thoroughly with a virtual representation with layers and access to different parts of the body.
The gaming industry has been progressing over the past decade with new innovated projects that push the concept of gaming to a whole different level. This has been achieved by incorporating and making use of GPS systems and augmented reality for popular apps like Pokemon Go and Ingress and virtual reality which provide a 360 degree view of the virtual location of the character. The way augmented reality redefines gaming is the ability to portray the game onto our real world. However, this sacrifices the realistic aspects as the virtual objects do not interact with depth, such as a table or hole. But technology always continues to advance as we will see with Google's projects for AR. Overall, this shows that the gaming industry is complimented by the advancing technology to improve the creativity in the way we interact and experience games.
Google has made use of Augmented Reality through a new app called Magic Leap. In this app, desktop icons and app will be brought out from a screen and controlled by a user's hand to check things such as email, notifications, and other options in 3D. This new technology demonstrates how technology can be used to create a variety of new differet types of gaming, such as a first person shooter game that uses physical weapons to fight virtual enemies, and other online players. This innovative technology will enable Google to become one of the leading companies that feature and invest in augmented reality, and it will encourage the continued progress to improve augmented reality hardware. Additionally, Project Tango by Google is an application that uses smartphones to be able to measure the size of items, similar to Intel's Real Sense, and be able to overlay virtual objects onto 3D surfaces without having to sacrifice the realistic aspects as seen with Pokemon Go. So far only a few phones as of January 2017 support this feature, but many new devices are adapting the hardware required to use Project Tango.
Since the revealing of Google Glass and times before it there have been companies specializing in smartwear, specifically dealing with AR smartglasses. Many companies such as Vuzix, Sony, Google, Samsung, and others are experimenting with AR glasses in their R&D departments or have already released it commercially and for developers. Smartglasses usually contain a camera, processor, lens with a screen, and its all used to overly virtual objects or information into reality. It can also be used to capture photos or video as a means of hands off recording. Many of these also include GPS and provide location services to the user. These versions of AR are rudementary as they cannot perform as complex tasks as the Hololens AR headset, but they provide an experience of a mixed reality nonetheless for a fraction of the size.
The fields of engineering can make use of augmented reality by using this type of innovative technology to create 3D models of the product they are attempting to develop into the real world. This can be crucial while developing or working on a project as it is easily understandable to see its dimensions at a 1:1 scale. This will not only benefit engineers or people in the architectual fields, but also potential investors who are looking for a simple yet informative model to gain information about a project or manufactoring plan.
Privacy issues have surfaced throughout the past advances as a result of multiple online threats such as hacking, tracking devices, and even taking control over cameras. Due to the heavy reliance we have on our mobile devices, we are not only using innovating technology to ease everyday routines, but we're also risking invasion of privacy. As mentioned before, many new apps and programs allow you to share or use your current location within the game you're using, and this can pose a threat given that a hacker can see your location in the world. In addition, people who wear AR technology, like smartglasses, can capture video or pictures of people without their notice. Potentially, putting people's lives at risk or using their image in scams.
Although, privacy issues arise there are many steps taken to inform others that a capturing device is being used. Such as Snap Inc. Spectacles, they use a led light to alert people that they are taking a photo, have taken a photo, or are recording. So if we include sounds when a something is being recorded then it would be able to alert people that their privacy may be invaded. As to GPS location, on all devices their is a privacy section that can change when location services is used, like when using app, never, or always are the options for them. So users already have the capability to stop any geolocation tracking. Additionally, companies have their terms and agreements that we agree to when we are licensed their products, and usually they have privacy matters already taken care of. Furthermore, companies have their ethical responsibilities to keep information secure and encrypted for privacy.