Without being a film historian it is a safe bet to think that TRON was the first movie to depict a world where real environmental surroundings merged with digital data and media to form a single world where the two merged as one. Thanks to advancements in Smartphone app technology, the world of TRON is slowly becoming ours. We may not be riding Light Cycles on the Grid any time soon, but augmented reality apps allow users to apply digital data into the real world around them, thus augmenting reality to conform to both sides of the existence coin. Continue reading to learn how this technology works, and how it is being used today.
What is augmentation reality?
When getting down to the roots of defining augmentation reality (AR), it is simply the ability to change our view of the world around us by merging digital media into our concrete world. There are already apps that add signage pointing out restaurants, subway stations and other city amenities when one aims a Smartphone down the street. But there are specifics in its makeup that must exist in order to warrant a true AR title. In an article on understanding augmentation reality the author highlights the required rules in defining AR as expressed by Blair Maclntyre, associate professor at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and director of the school’s Augmentation Environmental Lab. Maclntyre states that the virtual content must be registered or aligned with the right parts of our world. He continues to state that the application must be interactive.
How is it being used?
We have yet to get sucked into the Grid and work with programs to subvert evil elements of the digital world, but mobile application development integrates digital media into reality to create a new world to entertain, educate and advance our perception. For example, Goosebottom Books teamed up with a developer to get kids to read and learn more in a fun and thrilling manner. Their app Horrible Hauntings exists as an augmentation reality collection of historical ghost stories that gets kids learning without them being any wiser. A layer of ghoulish entertainment is added to capture the young reader’s imagination by mingling the virtual world with their real one. One feature that beckons a child to continue learning is the lineup of 3D characters that come to life to replace standard illustrations.
It makes life easier
We all love going to see our favorite sports team in action. But often fans are weighted with stress in remembering to bring their tickets, stadium map, and parking directions. But one Indian cricket team has combined augmentation reality and spectator sports to offer the best experience to fans. The reality-enhanced tickets offer features such as 3D stadium views, maps to the stadium with parking information, access to the stadium store and an interactive feature that allows fans to call a cab. These tickets provide multiple services into one neat little virtual package.
Making your world digitally interactive
By researching AR apps and their makers you can begin to channel the digital world and incorporate it into your own real time existence. Whether you want to use this technology to market your business or to help entertain and educate kids, you will find meaning for this amazing technology. We may not be able to create walls of colored light by zipping around Los Angeles on motorcycles with this technology, but it does have a grid system that points to what could be the early hallmarks to the world of TRON.
Image source: http://atomicgator.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/tron_yori1.jpg