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AR – Augmented Reality

The real public came across it when Google wanted to hang his smart glasses on our nose. Then came the era of funny masks that made us snails, bunnies and Leonardo DiCaprio. Then the Pokemons captured both realities and forced us to wind up miles away. And recently Apple showed ARKit and Google – ARCore, so we are about to be covered by a new wave of games and applications using augmented reality, the possibilities of which are much wider and more useful to society.
What is A.R.

Augmented Reality is the real-time environment that complements the physical world as we see it with digital data from any device – tablet, smartphone or other – and software. Like Google Glass or the Iron Man helmet. Aiming systems in modern warplanes are also augmented reality.

Augmented reality (AR) must be distinguished from virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).

In augmented reality, virtual objects are projected onto the real environment.

Virtual reality is a world created by technical means and transmitted to a person through (yet) the senses.

Mixed or hybrid reality combines both approaches.

That is, virtual reality creates its own world, where a person can immerse himself, and augmented adds virtual elements to the real world. It turns out that WiAr only interacts with users, and WiAr interacts with the whole outside world.

The history of A.R.

Like many other interesting studies, the history of manipulation with reality begins in science fiction. The author of “The Wizard of Oz” Lyman Frank Baum in his novel “The Main Key” described a device that can mark people in real time with letters indicating their character and level of intelligence. The primitive tools of augmenting reality were known long before: there were masks worn by Roman archers to better aim, and spyglass tubes with marked distances, and so on.

But the history of augmented reality, as we know it now, comes from VR developments. The father of virtual reality is Morton Haleig. He received this title for his research and inventions in the 1950s and 60s. On August 28th 1962, he patented the Sensorama simulator. Haleig himself also called it a dive theatre.

The patent describes a virtual technology in which visual images are complemented by air movement and vibration. The rationale for its existence was given as follows:

“Today there is an ever-increasing demand for methods to teach and train people in ways that eliminate the risks and dangers of real situations.

It was a device of an early version of virtual reality, not an augmented one, but it was the device that triggered the development of both directions. Heylig even invented a special 3D camera to make movies for the Sensorama.

But in 1968, Harvard computer specialist and Harvard professor Ivan Sutherland and his student Bob Sprull developed a device called “Damocles Sword”. And it was the first system of already augmented reality based on the head display.

The glasses were so heavy that they had to be attached to the ceiling. The design was threateningly hanging over the subject, hence the name. The glasses had a stereoscopic display and a simple computer picture was broadcast. The perspective of observing objects changed depending on the movements of the user’s head, so a mechanism was needed to track the direction of the gaze. For that time, it was a fantastic breakthrough.

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