Online users spend a considerable amount of time in the online world, but augmented reality, the underrated cousin of virtual reality, has mobilized the online world from computer spaces to physical spaces. Where virtual reality immerses you in a virtual dimension, augmented reality embeds virtual elements such as graphics, sound, or video, upon the real world, that can be seen through an image rendering device such as a mobile phone.

The following augmented reality developments promise to make our physical reality into a “smart reality”.

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Augmented Reality Displays in Cars

IEEE Spectrum recently published a clip of a “Transparent Car” that uses a series of mirrors, projectors, and an external camera that functions as a one-sided invisibility cloak that can let drivers see through the body of a car to the outside world.

Jaguar lan Rover has also started using augmented reality on their windshields to maximize visibility using a similar technique that makes the front pillars of a car “transparent” giving drivers a near 360-degree-view . In addition, the windshield also recognizes and highlights moving obstacles such as pedestrians.

Rolls Royce Bets on Smart Shipping

Forget the self-driving car.  Rolls Royce is investigating technology that could pave the way for the first self-driving ship. Known for its luxury vehicles, Rolls Royce is normally not associated with being at the forefront of technology but thse company has worked in conjunction with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to create a smart interface for ship navigators. Similar to Jaguar’s Ian Rover’s Smart Windshield, their bridge concept, known as Future Operator Experience Concept or ‘OX’, is able to enhance visibility and identify icebergs and other hard-to-see obstacles. The interface makes use of augmented reality and Rolls Royce is hoping that this technology will eventually evolve into the creation of the first unmanned ships.


Google Glasses Wearers Are Prone To Subliminal Messages

A recent new study showed that smart glasses could enhance athletic performance. According to the IEEE spectrum, “New research suggests that subliminal cues shown on visual displays can give athletes a significant boost to human performance during endurance exercises.” Kent University and Bangor University from the UK researched the effects of flashing subliminal messages across the screen for  .02 seconds.   Researchers found that athletes who were shown happy faces over sad faces cycled three minutes longer. And subjects that were shown “action” words over “inaction” words also showed improvement in their performance and cycled up to six minutes longer!



Why escape reality when technology can make reality magical?

That’s the aim of Magic Leap, a cryptic company that has accrued $542 million in funding but has remained mum about how it will deliver on its promise to “generate images indistinguishable from real objects” without requiring an image rendering device.   Rony Abovitz, an eccentric but successful serial entrepreneur, has hired some of the top talent from top tier brands such as Google, Amazon, and Apple. Rony Abovitz’s company is promising a technology that renders 3d, non-transparent, holographic figures.




But if the idea of a floating 3d objects that can be seen with the naked eye doesn’t excite you, the following video might.

Researchers in the University of Bristol have been able to create invisible objects that can be felt. The invisible objects carry an “acoustic radiation force field” that manipulates sound waves that users can feel. Perhaps Magic Leap will merge with these researchers in the future and create tactile, 3D objects.


Books Will Come to Life

Augmented reality will facilitate text-based learning.

Today’s textbooks almost always come with an online access key that gives students the opportunity to access additional resources such as quizzes, videos, and 3D models. Publishers are tinkering with novel ways to incorporate augmented reality to bring books to life. Imagine having a textbook that can instantly become interactive with your smartphone and incorporate video game concepts to help you learn complex subjects.


An Interactive Reality

Even the U.S Postal Office is investing in augmented reality gimmicks to pull in more customers.

USPS customers can scan a blue collection box  through an app and trigger a silly animation of a dancing penguin. Advertisers hope that this incipient type of customer interaction will increase brand loyalty.

As internet users increasingly adopt mobile internet connectivity, it’s not difficult to imagine that our day to day scenery will be embedded with  bits and bytes in the augmented reality dimension and offer information, advertising, and entertainment segments like the video shown below.

Do you think virtual billboards will be polluting the augmented reality landscape?

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