Viewing the world in Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality(AR). The technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality in which the view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. This technology has been used extensively in Hollywood. However, my first encounter with this technology was while I was trying to understand the features of the Samsung Tab. The same feature is also available to apple iPhone 3GS users.
Augmented reality has incredible applications. Applications that can amaze kids as well as grown ups. 3D technology has already been predicted to make waves like never before in the coming year. AR being registered in 3D will play a huge part in new applications. The concept has already been put into interesting usage for consumers, for example in the iPhone, as I have mentioned earlier. It allows the user in identifying various locations(ATM, bus stops, eateries, hospitals, educational institutions, super markets etc). By pointing the phone in a particular direction, the user can acquaint himself with the locality around him. There are several apps offering this feature, all of which can be downloaded on the iPhone.
Here’s an illustrative video: 
The app used in this video is called LAYAR. It uses Google at the back-end. There are others like Panoramic, Tweeps around (by Twitter-This one is creepy because it allows one to view who’s tweeting from where and what), Go Web 3D (by Wikipedia).
The applications are endless. they can go as far as one’s imagination.
Newspapers needn’t be read anymore:  
The Adidas Originals AR Game Pack is a set of 5 shoes, each printed with an AR code on the tongue. When you hold the code in front of your webcam, you’ll gain access to a virtual version of the Adidas Originals Neighborhood. Each month between February and April, Adidas will launch a new interactive game within the Neighborhood and your shoe will be the game controller.
Use your goggle to fix your BMW
These are just some of the applications. The near future will bring newer and better apps based on the same.

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