To know everything about augmented reality, it's here !

Q1 - What is augmented reality?
Q2 - Who invented augmented reality?
Q3 - What are the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality?
Q4 - What are the differences with the QR-code ?
Q5 - In which sectors is augmented reality used?

Q1- What is augmented reality ?

Augmented reality is a process that integrates virtual elements within a real environment. The objective is to combine the virtual and the real to enrich the reality with additional informations.

The elements can be photos, videos, direct call buttons or also 3D animations. It is possible to use augmented reality with a smartphone.

Q2 - Who invented augmented reality ?

Augmented reality is not a recent technology, far from it. In fact, it is in 1968 that was created the first augmented reality system by Ivan Sutherland during researches in Boston University.

Ivan Sutherland's creation is a transparent vision helmet, and despite the technological limitations of the time, it allows six degrees of freedom. Through the lenses of the helmet, it is possible to see a 3D cube thanks to an angle of view recalculation system that follows head movement of the user. Augmented reality is born.

Q3 - What are the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality ?

Virtual reality and augmented reality permit to modify the user's environment.

Augmented reality integrates virtual elements within a real environment while virtual reality offers a complete immersion in an environment entirely virtual.

While augmented reality is accessible with a smartphone, it is necessary to have a VR helmet to use virtual reality. The user is then immersed in a totally different world than the one where he is physically and isolated from its real environment.

As for augmented reality, it doesn't isolate the user from its real environment but combine it with virtual elements.

Q4 - What are the differences with the QR-code ?

QR-code and augmented reality are often mingled. The two processes use image recognition to enrich elements with additional information.

The QR-code, less nice-looking, only allows giving one interaction to the user (often an internet link).

Thanks to the combination between virtual and real, augmented reality goes even further by giving many interactions to the user with different elements. The potential is greater (photos, videos, 3D animations, direct call buttons). It also permits to actualize the element content without restrictions.

Q5 - In which sectors is augmented reality used ?

Augmented reality is used in many different sectors :

- video-games - the more recent example is Pokemon Go. Its release in 2016 is an international phenomenon and the game is quickly considered as the pioneer of augmented reality smartphone app. However, augmented reality games do not date from yesterday with for example EyeToy: Play and Mozzle released in 2003. Today more than never, augmented reality invade video-games.

- fashion - to facilitate clothing test, glasses, cosmetics, etc... Perfect immersion for future clients!

- hospital - used as training, especially for surgery operation simulation, augmented reality is more and more present in hospitals.

- industry - very used in automotive, nautical and aviation industries, for fabrication and maintenance.

- tourism - to provides additional information in museums or monuments.

- publishing and press - more and more requested by marketing and communication professionals, augmented reality is an excellent media to boost a brand image, collect data and generate views. Paper is then combined with digital power and offer infinite possibilities!