Monday, June 25, 2012

Augmented Reality- Android

 What is Augmented Reality? Is that what you are thinking after reading the title of the post? Maybe you are familiar with the term but haven't really given a closer look to what it actually is. If you are well versed with the term and have a good knowledge about how it can really change the way we see the world around us( yes, it really can!) you might just want to know the best applications for your Android device to enjoy AR( that's what Augmented Reality is known shortly as). Read on as I familiarize you with the term and recommend certain apps to experience AR.
What Exactly is Augmented Reality? In technical terms, Augmented reality or Ar is a view of a real and physical image with some of its elements modified by computer generated effects, resulting in an enhanced perception of real time image. For Example, The virtual scoreboard you see while you watch a football, basketball, baseball or other match on your T.V.

 Didn't understand it exactly? Then, imagine yourself walking down a street in a city quite unknown to you. You don't know where to find a hotel to stay or a restaurant to get rid of your hunger. Instead of searching over the Internet to find them, wouldn't it be easier, effortless and hassle-free if you could just point your phone's camera to your left and right and get details about the hotels and restaurants(their distance from your current position, their reviews and alternatives) located in the direction you just pointed your camera towards by means of graphical overlays? (see image towards the left to get an idea of what I am trying to explain)
Didn't find it useful? How about this- you are driving on a highway at the exact speed limit specified and want to make sure that you don't crash into other cars. You would need an advanced collision warning system that would work in real time, examine the traffic around you, calculate your distance with other vehicles with such precision and in such a small time (read:1000th part of a second) that you stay 100% safe. How good it would be if your smart-phone displayed you a real time image of the traffic in front of you and through graphic overlays would show you details which you want to stay accident-proof! That's something which is now possible due to AR.

What are its other uses? Apart from the ones mentioned above, AR cab be put to use in a variety of different ways. From satellite navigation, online shopping, social networking to getting information about a certain product by pointing your device's camera towards its image- all these are possible at this very moment due to the amazing power of Augmented reality based apps. There a lot of apps that use AR technology to do things you could have just imagined. How about an App called Google sky maps? Just point your camera towards the sky( you don't eve have to go in the open to do this, sit inside your cozy room and do the job) and get details about the stars, constellations, planets and other heavenly bodies in the direction you just pointed your camera towards. Who says, Astronomy cannot be fun?

Can't wait to try it, list down some fantastic apps which utilize the power of AR: There are thousands of apps in the Google Play store for your Android devices which fall into this category but the very popular and useful ones are

1) LAYAR: This app allows you to view digital information called 'Layers' right on your device's screen.

You can use this app to scan everything around you–restaurant menus, grocery products, magazine, posters, billboards, hotels, business establishments, and a lot more. With this app, you can instantly get market links, product prices, digital posters, and a lot more. The new and updated Layar can also let you view videos directly from augmented reality.

2)iOnRoad Augmented driving Lite: This is app you need to be 100% safe on roads. Get a car mount, mount your smartphone above the dashboard of your car, start the app and drive hassle free.

3) Google Sky Maps: Already mentioned above, this app is surely fun to use if not that handy or useful. if you are interested in astronomy, this app is a must. If you are that much into astronomy, keeping this app would do you no harm and prove to be worth a pass-time on certain days.

The list also includes wikitude world browser, yelp, AugSatNav, 3D Compass + (AR Compass), Goggle Goggles, Satellite AR and Augment. All these apps are available for free in Play store.
Please comment and share your views about AR, give suggestions on my posts or topics pr apps you want me to write a post on. Your feedback is also welcomed. If you like this post or any other of my posts, please give a few seconds from your vital time to share its link on Facebook, Twitter, Floost or your own Blog.

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