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5 facts about Augmented Reality

date: 2 August 2016
reading time: 2 min

The awareness of Augmented Reality [AR] is sky-high right now. But it’s not the ‘Pokémon Go’ application that helped it get the attention because AR has already been with us for many decades now.

Starting with the basics – Augmented Reality is the mixture of real-time elements and virtual features which merge into a symbiotic whole. This basically means that thanks to a variety of devices we are able to perceive both: physical and virtual reality at once, in real-time, in 3D.

You may think that, since this is without a doubt an innovative solution, the whole phenomenon must be new. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Let us present to you 5 facts about AR that you (probably) didn’t know.

1. Early bloomer

Augmented reality has its roots in 1968 when Ivan Sutherland – an American computer scientist created with the first head-mounted display system at Harvard University. It showed simple wireframe drawings and computer-generated graphics.

2. VR and AR aren’t twins

Even though Virtual Reality may seem similar to Augmented Reality, it is merely its second cousin.
VR replaces the world around you with a simulated one, letting you experience a new, virtual, sometimes even unreal concepts. AR, on the other hand, superimposes virtual objects on physical elements to enhance your current perception of the reality.

3. Incredible growth

By 2017 AR applications are predicted to generate $300 billion revenue, whereas in 2014 it generated ‘only’ around $5 billion. Additionally, by 2020, AR is bound to have more than one billion users worldwide.

4. Good enough for NASA

Since it can augment the effectiveness of navigation devices, no wonder it was applied far wider than only for commercial purposes.  In 1999, NASA’s x-38 was flown utilising a special AR dashboard for navigation purposes.

5. Personal trainer

‘Pokémon Go’, which is a perfect example of AR application, caused quite a stir recently. Its enthusiasts realised that by trying to ‘catch ’em all’ they actually need to move around. No wonder that a significant number of AR applications try to come up with ideas to help us stay healthy and make a bigger impact on us.

Augmented Reality is bound to surprise us even more in the upcoming years. Thanks to simple, entertaining and free applications, it’s quickly becoming our daily bread.

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