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Showing posts with label Virtual Reality Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virtual Reality Technology. Show all posts

What is augmented reality and how does it work?

AR Augmented Reality
AR is nothing but overlaying virtual objects on real world
Content Highlights
  • Augmented meaning & Augmented reality definition
  • What is the difference between AR and VR?
  • How does augmented reality works?
  • AR on smartphones and other devices
  • Classification of Augmented Reality
  • Application and uses of Augmented Reality in various fields

What is augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a direct or indirect view and experience of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information.
The word Augmented means 'to increase the size or value of something by adding something to it'.
AR enhances our real surroundings with graphics, sounds, and other feedback.

The first functional AR system named 'Virtual Fixtures' was developed by U.S. Air Force's Armstrong Labs in 1992.
Early Augmented Reality experiences were used in the entertainment and gaming, but now AR is applied in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the information flood and organizing distant meetings etc..

Difference between VR and AR?Augmented reality means adding virtual elements to the real world. Augmented reality is often confused with Virtual Reality.Though they are two similar techs but there are some key differences. Virtual reality immerses you entirely into a virtual world, whereas augmented reality simply overlays virtual elements onto the real world. VR and AR are not two competing technologies. Moreover they are complementary to each other.

How Does Augmented Reality Work? 

AR is not a single technology. It is a combination of techniques.Based on it's area of application it's achieved by set of Hardware and Software.

Hardware components for augmented reality are
1Computer or processing unit
2.Display or projectors
3.Sensors and Cameras
4.Tracking devices

Display or Projection

AR visuals can be rendered optical projection systems, monitors, handheld devices, and display systems worn on the human body.

Head-mounted display (HMD) and Smart glasses:HMD is a display device worn on the forehead. Working principal of an HMD is very simple. It combines images of both the physical world and virtual objects over the user's field of view.HMDs often employ sensors for six degrees of freedom monitoring that allow the system to align virtual information to the physical world and adjust accordingly with the user's head movements.

Optical Projection System:Optical projectors used in AR can produce 2D or 3D illusion of an object over real world. 3D projection can be achieved in number of ways.

1.Either by usual 3D technology which requires polaizer glasses and feeding each eye with slightly different images
2.Holographic 3D projection
3.3D scanned images presented using projectors which are capable of variable images of the same object by tracking our eyes movement.

AR on Handheld devices and Smart Phones

AR on hand held devices can be classified into two. Marker based and Marker-less AR
Marker Based Augmented Reality
marker based augmented reality
Marker based AR recognizes patterns drawn on surfaces and overlay corresponding images on real objects
Marker-based augmented reality (also called Image Recognition) uses a camera and some type of visual marker, such as a QR/2D code, to produce a result only when the marker is sensed by a reader. Marker based applications use a camera on the device to distinguish a marker from any other real world object and some type of content and/or information is then overlaid the marker.
Markerless Augmented Reality
markerless augmented reality
Example of  markerless position based AR application
Markerless (also called location-based, position-based, or GPS) augmented reality, uses a GPS, digital compass, velocity meter, or accelerometer which is embedded in the device to provide data based on your location.With the advent of smartphones this type of Augmented Reality gained wider popularity.This type of AR is mainly used for mapping directions, finding nearby businesses, and other location-centric mobile applications.

Applications of Augmented Reality

AR Apps for Navigation

AR based navigation app
AR aided Navigation App
GPS application on your device uses augmented reality to make it easier to get from point A to point B.It augment your current position on the map.Using the smartphone's camera in combination with the GPS, users see the selected route over the live view of what is in front of the car.Position based marker-less AR comes under this.

The Heads-Up Display (HUD) for pilots

AR The Heads-Up Display (HUD) for pilots
HUD for pilots
This is a typical example of augmented reality application. A transparent display is positioned directly in the  pilot's view. Data typically displayed to the pilot includes altitude, airspeed and the horizon line in addition to other critical data.Pilot need not look down into display consoles for the information.

Presentation of food items in restaurants.

Following video will give you an idea of what AR technology is capable of. This device's developers HoloLamp claims that 'HoloLamp is an award winning startup, which proposes the world’s first glasses-free and hands-free portable augmented reality device that creates optical 3D illusions directly on your environment 'HoloLamp technology is based on advanced projection technology, computer vision and machine learning.


Tourism industries

The ability to augment a live view of displays in a museum with facts and figures is a natural use of the technology. Using a smartphone equipped with a camera, tourists can walk through historic sites and see facts and figures presented as an overlay on their live screen. These applications use GPS and image recognition technology to look up data from an online database.

Architecture

AR in architecture
AR can aid in visualizing building and other structural projects. Computer-generated images of a structure can be superimposed into a real life local view of a property before the physical building is constructed there.

Archaeology

Application of Augmented Reality in archeology
AR apps helps to visualize partially destroyed ancient structures
By augmenting archaeological features onto the modern landscape, AR allows archaeologists to formulate possible site configurations from extant structures.Computer generated models of buildings,structures and landscapes enables them to visualize the ancient time in a better way.

Video games

AR games
AR based games 
At present gaming industry is on of the main beneficiary of the AR technology. Not only the kids,but also the adults will also get addicted to AR games out there. Smartphone camera enables you to use real world as your game field. Racing games and shooting games are just awesome with AR.

AR in medical field

AR in medical field
AR in surgery and visualizing human anatomy
AR aided presentations are helpful to medical students to visualize human anatomy.AR technology also help them to practice surgery in a controlled environment.Augmented reality can reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception. This technology can be combined with MRI or X-ray systems and bring everything into a single view for the surgeon.
The ability to image the organs in 3D on top of the patient's actual anatomy is powerful for the surgeon.

AdvertisingAugmented Reality advertisements

Ad companies also have started exploiting AR technology for better user experience and increased attention from the audience. Marker Based Augmented Reality can be used to augment information on particular products. By scanning a pattern(QR,Bar codes or other patterns or picture) drawn on the surface of the the product or booklets can overlay required information and details about that product.
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HTC VIVE :An amazing VR(virtual reality) product

HTC is one of the leading manufacturer of VR headsets and other devices

htc vivw vr head set
HTC Vive VR head set
Content Highlights
  • HTC VIVE
  • How it works
  • Unique features included in HTC VIVE VR headset
  • HTC VIVE for gaming
  • SteamVR™ Tracking technology
  • Where to buy and best deals for HTC VIVE
  • System requirements for HTC VIVE VR

HTC VIVE:The Ultimate VR effect

HTC Vive is room scale virtual reality head-mounted display launched by HTC which provides fully immersive Virtual Reality effect.Vive is brought to you by HTC and Valve. Uniting passion, talent, and innovation, Vive delivers on the promise of VR with best-in-class technology and content.

How HTC VIVE Works

This headset is designed to utilize "room scale" technology to turn a room into 3D space via sensors, with the virtual world allowing the user to navigate naturally, with the ability to walk around and use motion tracked handheld controllers to vividly manipulate objects, interact with precision, communicate and experience immersive environments.


htc vive fully immersive virtual reality
HTC Vive VR ser enables fully immersive VR

Awards won by HTC Vive

Unveiled during HTC's Mobile World Congress keynote in March 2015, the HTC Vive has since been awarded over 22 awards in CES 2016, including best of CES.
Best of CES 2016,Best Entertainment- Slash Gear

Unique features included in HTC Vive

Front facing camera blends real world elements into the virtual world
htc vive vr front camera
front cam
110 degree field of view
HTC VIVE VR Viewing angle
wide lenses
32 headset sensors for motion tracking
htc vive sensors
head set sensors
2160*1200 combined resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate deliver eye popping graphics and smooth action

HTC Vive for gamers

HD haptic feedback and intuitive gestures mean playing games and interacting with the virtual world comes naturally. Vive’s two wireless controllers feature 24 sensors for unobstructed movement, meaning you can do more in VR than ever before.
Haptic or kinesthetic communication recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user.This mechanical stimulation can be used to assist in the creation of virtual objects in a computer simulation, to control such virtual objects, and to enhance the remote control of machines and devices. Haptic devices may incorporate tactile sensors that measure forces exerted by the user on the interface.
Intuitive gesture:gesture sensing through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation
Multifunctional track pad provides effortless precision and HD haptic feed back.Dual stage triggers with HD haptic feed back brings VR experience to a new level.Two handheld controllers each have 24 sensors for accurate tracking.


htc handheld controller
ht vive trackpad
trackpad
Sensors on handheld device

SteamVR™ Tracking technology

steam vr tracking technology
SteamVR™ Tracking technology
Breakthrough SteamVR™ Tracking technology lets the headset and controllers know in real time where they are within a room. Freely explore and interact with objects, characters and environments. Room-scale VR puts you at the center of everything.
two base station provides 360 degree motion tracking for superior VR experience
how SteamVR™ Tracking technology works
The tracking system gives you your own personal GPS right in your living room,accurate to a millimeter.Beacause LASERS roomscale VR gives you the freedom to move around and to gain an entirely new perspective on in-game world.If you get too close to the real world while in the virtual one ,the chaperone will give you a gentle(Virtual) reminder.

Vive port

htc viveport
Viveport is a place where people can discover the latest and greatest in VR content and experiences.interactive Videos, games and much more
Vive provides you with a handful of VR contents at vive port.

What you need for experiencing fully immersed VR using HTC Vive


How to buy HTC Vive VR head set

You can purchase HTC Vive directly from vive store  or from leading online stores amazon and ebay.
It is also available at microsoft store

HTC Vive best buy

HTC Vive VR set is priced between $839.99 $600 and $800.
Price of HTC Vive at various online shopping karts :
  • eBay-$839.99 (new)
  • eBay-$650 (used)
  • amazon-$799.99
  • microsoftstore- $799.99
  • Vive store-$799.99

HTC vive system requirements

HTC has tested systems and worked with industry-leading manufacturers to bring you computers ready for Vive right out of the box. From graphics cards and processors to memory and storage space–these computers deliver a superior VR experience.
Recommended computer spec for installing vive
  • Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5-4590 or AMD FX™ 8350, equivalent or better
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce™ GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 480, equivalent or better. For additional graphics card options, view the complete list.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM or more
  • Video output: 1x HDMI 1.4 port, or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0 port or newer
  • Operating system: Windows™ 7 SP1, Windows™ 8.1 or later or Windows™ 10
You can also check your PC using a small exe file provided in htc vive site.
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How Virtual Reality (VR) works?

VR Technology :An overview

Working of Virtual reality
Leading VR enabled head mounted display (HMD)

Virtual reality (VR) typically refers to computer technologies that use softwares and hardwares to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment, and simulate a user's physical presence in this environment, by enabling the user to interact with this space and any objects depicted therein using specialized display screens or projectors and other devices. In this article I would like to explore “how Virtual Reality works” and what is the basic principles behind virtual reality.

Nowonly most of us are hearing about VR, but humans have identified Virtual Reality long before. Early versions of VR originated around 1930-40. The first references to the concept of virtual reality came from science fiction. Stanley G. Weinbaum's 1935 short story "Pygmalion's Spectacles" describes a goggle-based virtual reality system with holographic recording of fictional experiences, including smell and touch.After the invention of ‘motion pictures’ ,human’s thrive to experience real world virtually resulted in the invention of various Virtual Reality(VR) equipments. 
For the present generation VR is nothing but google cardboard or Oculus rift head-mounted display or HMD. HMDs typically take the form of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Some simulations include additional sensory information and provide sounds through speakers or headphones. 

Many of us might have used a VR HMD equipment. How many of us know the simple principle behind this? So, let us have a look at “how does VR work”

Working of a Virtual Reality goggles (head mounted display -HMD)

Virtual reality glasses or goggles are becoming increasingly popular in the gaming and entertainment arena. They are lighter and more comfortable to wear than the standard head mounted display (HMD). Ordinary glasses show a single image but 3D and virtual reality glasses contain polarised lenses which show two images, one per each eye. These images appear to give an illusion of depth of object we see.
The basic principle behind 3D and virtual reality is stereoscopy. Two separate images are shown to each eye, which the brain combines into a single image. We are tricking our brain to perceive two slightly different images as a single image.
VR Video picture frame
Snapshot of a VR Video  frame
Image given above is a snap of 3D VR video. Two images are combined to from a single frame. If you closely observe ,you can see there is slight difference in left and right images. Two slightly different angles of the scene is fed into each eye, simulating depth. This along with other ways to simulate depth like parallax (farther objects to you seem to move slower), shading and techniques create an almost a real world experience. 

360 degree videos

360 videos, also known as immersive videos or 360 degree videos, are videos recording of a real world panorama, where the view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. If 360 degree videos are played on your PC screen you can navigate through video using mouse or navigation keys. Using a wearable VR HMD ,You can watch different portions of video as you turn your head around which make it feel more immersive. Your head movement is detected using the gyro sensors on your smart phones. Along with 3D effect, 360 degree view will enhance Virtual Reality effect.
Now,different kinds of wearable VR equipments(HMDs) are available in the market.Google cardboard,Oculs rift,HTC vive and Samsung gear are the major players in the wearable VR HMD market.Google card board is the chepest one,but if you are looking for a real VR experience, go for Oculus rift or HTC vivo.Using a poorly aligned VR product may cause health problems like motion sickness.

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