Augmenting Reality

The current definition of “augmented reality” is when extra abstracted information is added to our view of reality. This is mostly envisioned as being overlays of information that are added to a viewing device, like a heads up display. The viewer can look around and see a real viewscape, but they are also offered a variety of extra information that has been added to the viewscape.

A pilot or driver can be supplied information that deal with location, speed, fuel reserves, and other factors key to operation of the vehicle. A shopper can be supplied with information dealing with brandnames, models, sizes, prices, sale reductions, and other information that aids the process.

This technique can also be applied in a variety of other fields. Medical practitioners can benefit from patient status information being collected by sensors and supplied to an overlay display. Other examples include: farmers tending to crops, a car mechanic doing a brake job, policemen responding to a variety of situations, detectives analyzing a crime scene, even a paper boy delivering the morning newspaper.

Soon we’ll also be seeing blends of virtual reality and augmented reality that enhance our ability to interact with our environment.

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