Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment in which the elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. A more general concept of it is called mediated reality, where a view of reality is modified by a computer, in other words, seeing a digital imagery in the real-world environment. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
Augmented reality means to integrate synthetic information into the real environment. (Bimber and Raskar, 2005)
Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world or at least the way users see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be restored continually to reflect the movements of your head. Similar devices and applications already exist now, particularly on smartphones.
David Rokeby’s The Construction of Experience: Interface as Content is also relevant to this as he said that his work aims to create experiences through artificial realities. (Rokeby, 1998). Artists uses the idea of augmented reality as a way to enable the audience to wonder about technology’s role in our lives as well as the use of mixed medias can enhance one’s perception of reality.
We were required to go on Janet Cardiff’s audio-video tour of The Rocks, called The City of Forking Paths before the third week of the semester. By using a headphone set and an MP4 set, users are guided around the city through a video of Cardiff narrating as she walks. User’s depiction and focus on reality seemed to be fractured as the immersive surrounding audio from the video made it difficult to differentiate between the real sounds and visuals of The Rocks, and those which came from the video-audio source. Cardiff played with user’s emotions as well as provokes users to wonder about the history of The Rocks as she narrates about it throughout the video.
On the other hand, recently, Pokémon GO, an AR game was released into the smartphone market and has gotten very popular for based on the fact that AR gaming is a new genre of game…and of course, Pokémons. Users are able to walk and navigate themselves throughout the physical world, which their GPS location will send to the server to give the user real time interaction between the game world and the real world. Pokémon GO also features and AR mode when it is in the capture mode, in which you can see the pokémon in real life surrounding which made it interesting to players who are new the experience. That being said, the AR feature was very basic and doesn’t provide available any in-depth interaction for the players rather than seeing the pokémon being displayed in real environments. Regardless it is considered to be one of the more popular AR mobile gaming.
- Bimber, O. and Raskar, R. (2005). Spatial augmented reality. Wellesley, Mass.: A K Peters.
- Dodsworth, C., & Rokeby, D. (1998). Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology. New York: ACM Press.
- Cardiff, J., & Bures Miller, G. (2016). City of Forking Paths. [audio-visual] Sydney.
- Niantic (2016) Pokémon GO. Available at: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/ (Accessed: 25 October 2016).