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Augmented reality first appeared over 50 years ago, more recently it appeared in high-tech battle gear for soldiers. But now with the versatile iPhone there is a growing number of applications and games which overlay a virtual world on top of the real world. But what is augmented reality, what are it's uses, and why is it suddenly such a big deal? To start with augmented reality really is as simple as displaying digital objects or information on top of a real world view. This is not particularly new, a simple example would be of the information shown 'on the field' during a football game. This is a great example of how computer generated information can be overlaid on a real world situation to provide highly relevant information in a visible but non-obtrusive way. This has military applications, for instance having the location of enemies overlaid on 'battle goggles', and entertainment applications, such as alien invasions happening over your own cityscape. More practical uses exist however, and augmented reality can be used in tour guides, to tell you about the stars, or even help tell you about specific objects through simple object recognition. The uses of augmented reality are only just beginning to appear in day-to-day life. However as object recognition becomes more and more intelligent, it is highly possible that games will alter the existing world, rather than just overlay new images on top of it. Instead of just having static images and information overlaid on the real world, there may be programs that appear which alter the current landscape. These could turn your current skyline in to a futuristic landscape with buildings changed to incorporate futuristic stylings in to current structures and not just adding futuristic objects Augmented Reality has become a huge deal over the last year for one simple reason. Apple created an update which allowed third-party apps to use the iPhone camera as a video camera. This new medium suddenly gave creative application developers a structure with which they could combine reality with virtual reality. This has spawned a new generation of iPhone games, but on top of that it has created the possibility for an entirely new kind of game and application style. From this new technology there is a strong possibility that even more imaginative uses will be found for combining the real and virtual world. As the years go by I foresee augmented reality becoming a more and more integral part of day-today life, however until that time comes I will enjoy the augmented iPhone games, which are essentially what 'Pong' is to 'Call of Duty' today!


Augmented reality might have just started to appear on the iPhone, but it is already planned for inclusion in the first major iPhone MMORPG. We look forward to the augmented reality future that will bring a true virtual reality to the gaming world.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Oliver_Whitham

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Augmented Reality is it the way of the Future, QR codes?  

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