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Basic Facts and history of Augmented Reality (By Jeung In Yang)

-Dictionary definition of AR: a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

-Augmented Reality blurs the line between what is real and what is computer generated by enhancing what we see, hear, smell and feel

-Augmented Reality applications work on the basis of Marker-based and Location based

AR invention have gone through a lot of evolutions as the following:
In 1968, first headset was developed by Ivan Sutherland.
In 1990, AR came into being existence and all procedures were strengthened by the Boeing researcher named Tom Caudell.
In 1994, 1st AR theater production of “Dancing in Cyberspace” was created by Julie Martin

-In 2009, AR has been added to Web without any failures and the experiments were successfully done by Hirokazu Kato.

-In 2017, AR kit and AR core have been launched by Apple and Google.

Some people get confused about the difference between AR and VR (Virtual reality)
It is true that both are similar in some sense. For example, both enables users to view images through a pair of 3D glasses or a head mounted display and these objects help users to engage in visionary world.
However, the main difference between these is the immersion. Users of Virtual reality are immersed in the stimulated or computer generated world whereas users of Augmented reality see the real world but with the addition of computer generated images or objects within the real world. Basically VR users are put in to the artificial world and AR users are experiencing the real world combined with artificial images or objects. This means that AR users life style are enhanced by using AR thus can experience more realistic and interesting things.


Benefits and Disadvantages of Augmented Reality (By Jeung In Yang)

Firstly, I would say that there are more beneficial aspects about Augmented Reality than disadvantages.

Augmented Reality is used in many domains such as education, engineering, commercial and gaming industry, military, etc.

For example, it is very beneficial when it is used in medical industry's it helps with effective diagnosis of diseases.

It can also be used by military people by offering stimulation prior to real battle.

Lastly, AR can be used in practicing scenarios, as it makes things eye catching and memorial so that a practitioner or an athlete can be prepared and can easily be adopted to different techniques.

AR reduces line between real world and virtual world, enhancing perceptions and interactions with the real world.

On the other hand, there have been some disadvantages since after the invention of Augmented Reality.

For example, there are possible dangers of reality modification. It is because AR can confuse people between the real world and digital world.
There was a case from playing Pokemongo in which this game created some incidents to people walking where they were not supposed to while they were trying to catch up creatures.

Secondly, I would say that smaller companies compared to larger companies like coca cola and marvel industry have disadvantages at using AR system. For example, AR is not accessible to anyone, because it costs firms a lot of money to reply AR in their advertisements or marketing process.

Lastly, AR can be detrimental to users as it records user’s location and environment in real time. Thus the use of AR can create potential legal concerns in terms of personal privacy matter.


Case 1: Pokemon Go (By Jeung In Yang)
-One of the most popular and augmented reality based application/game that can be operated on electronic devices such as iPhones is called “Pokemon Go”
This game has enabled many users to engage in real world stimulated by artificial creatures known as pokemons. (imaginary creatrues)

-This game was created by former Google project, Niantic.
-Pokemongo uses your phone’s GPS, camera to diagnose user’s location as well as generate the view of the real world on your device.

As you walk on the road for example, your GPS detects your location, and tells you where the imaginary creature is located on your phone. This way you can follow the GPS in order to catch a creature. (Additionally pokemon creatures can be found pretty much everywhere on the street and at local places.


Case 2: Navigation ( by Abdulrahman Alqahtani)

Navigation by WayRay: the technology of augmented reality (AR) has been used in navigation by WayRay Company. WayRay has developed a holographic navigation system which advances connected cars through the technology of augmented reality (Wnorowski & Łebkowski, 2018). The navigation is used to see directions, details of the trip, and a general overview of a route. The use of AR has an accuracy of 92.7% when it comes to detecting traffic lines and detects traffic lights with an accuracy of 95.29% (Cao, Li, Zhou, & Li, 2018). These results indicate that the use of the AR system in navigation can provide a timely accuracy which can be depended upon by the drivers. Additionally, Cao et al. (2018) also showed that navigation signs accuracy is less than 105 pixels when used on the screen having used 50 taxi drivers in the study. It can be seen that the accuracy level of WayRay’s AR navigation technology is dependable and accurate. It is actually changing the traffic systems.

WayRay-Navion-interface3-CES-2018-Press-Image.jpg
Source:Golightly, Daniel. “WayRay Shows Off On-Windshield Navigation & More - CES 2018.” Android Headlines, Android Headlines, 11 Jan. 2018, www.androidheadlines.com/2018/01/wayray-shows-off-on-windshield-navigation-more-ces-2018.html.

WayRay has also used AR technology to develop a holographic navigator for cars on the road. The navigator helps the cars with aerospace technology to land navigation. Additionally, with the use of WayRay Navigation, there is no need of having a headgear or eyewear which can, in turn, impair the field of vision of someone. Instead, the technology uses a small mini projector which is fit on top of a dashboard and in the windshield of a car overlays a holographic image. The image overlaid is a presentation of area road. The projections are of an actual road but shown onto the screen. The driver also has the freedom to adjust the projections so as to ensure that the display fits the viewing angle for more accuracy (Cao et al., 2018). Certainly, AR technology I navigation has made the viewing of roads more accurate since a virtual image of 3 meters by 1 meter can be projected up to 15 meters away from the eyes of the driver making it more advantageous than the head up display which was traditionally used.

How the navigation by WayRay is used is that instead of using phones, data is being displayed such as the trajectory on the movement of cars or the windshield speed of the cars (Wnorowski & Łebkowski, 2018). In addition to this display, the AR navigation system offers an option where the information can be displayed on the glass regarding streets, restaurants, names, or pubs. Essentially, WayRay uses an ELEMENT which in its nature is wearable for a car. The ELEMENT is plugged into the connector of non-board diagnostics which also helps in tracking the performance of a driver (Zhou, Zhang, Braud, Hui, & Kangasharju, 2018). The ELEMENT can also track the usage of fuel, history of trips made, costs, and the general health and performance of the car. All this information is made available on a smartphone, a personal computer or a tablet. Therefore, the AR technology of navigation is more detailed than traditional head-up displays.

Although WayRay’s AR navigation has shown success and promising benefits, its accuracy is not 100%. In response, WayRay is planning to expand the system in the future where more information can be added to it. For example, WayRay is planning to make the system more accurate by including features that can display people, bicycle lanes, objects, and crosswalks. Moreover, WayRay is planning to further improve the safety with the system by including more features such as warnings on the rear sides as well as the highway driving assistant system. More improvements are also to be made on the technology of vehicle-to-everything by integrating all the information surrounding the vehicle such as traffic signals. Information on the weather and road conditions are also to be included in the AR navigation system so as to improve driving safety. Apparently, WayRay’s AR navigation is of benefit and its use is on the increase despite the fact that they still plan to improve on the system. Therefore, it is expected that in the future almost all vehicles will be using the AR system of navigation.


Case 3: Biological Application (by Abdulrahman Alqahtani)

Augmented reality technology has also been used in learning of biological concepts. Basically, AR is defined as a technology using the background of the user’s environment to form a virtual environment and objects (Marzouk, Attia, & Abdelbaki, 2013). Using the real objects as the background of the virtual environment makes the user have a feeling that what is being seen is real and an accurate representation of the real environment. This definition of AR technology presents a piece of evidence that biological experiments which cannot be done in the real world can be virtually done. Also, expensive experiments can also be achieved through the use of AR technology.

AR has also been shown to enhance interactive learning. For instance, Chang and Yu (2017) reported that the use of interactive technology AR is of significance to the learning of students. Augmented technology can be used in designing a virtual biology laboratory App which brings the benefits of action learning, interactive experience, and situational simulation. The Virtual biology Laboratory App contains processes of cell division, virtual microscope, concepts of biological anatomy, and the anatomy of other animals such as frogs (Chang & Yu, 2017). Other components can also be included in the App as much as the user wishes. These components and the flexibility of the Virtual Biology Laboratory App can make students perform any possible experiment in biology in a virtual environment which enhances their understanding of what is deemed abstract.
An example of a biological experiment which can be performed with the help of AR technology is diffusion which can be animated through AR technology (Chang, Wu, & Hsu, 2013). The study of human anatomy can also be virtually performed through AR technology. In high school, for example, students may not be able to have a human skeleton to study. In return, they can have a full view of human anatomy through the biology App without the need to have real anatomy (Marzouk et al., 2013). AR also presents a 3D representation of human anatomy making the students have a clear understanding of the complex human body as compared to their traditional learning methods. The implication herein is that augmented reality technology can be used to perform biological experiments which cannot be performed in reality through animations.

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source: Chopra, Prash, and Prash Chopra. “Is AR/MR/XR Finally Ready for Surgery?” AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine, AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine, 1 Feb. 2018, arvrjourney.com/is-ar-mr-xr-finally-ready-for-surgery-e313b393dd7d.

Indeed, it has been shown that the presentation of abstract content, especially in Biology, is challenging to both the teacher and the learners (Chang, Wu, & Hsu, 2013). Teachers find it difficult to make students understand what they cannot see and have never seen while the students also find it challenging to understand an abstract concept. Augmented reality technology enables teachers to display abstract concepts and experiments on technology and help the students to see what is being presented in class.

augmented-reality-body-table-phone.jpg?t=1516194846592
Source: Argosy Publishing, Inc. “The Visible Body Blog.” The Visible Body Blog, www.visiblebody.com/blog/page/5?hsFormKey=54dd88c03189f327a634554f202285e9.

Using Augmented Reality in Biology simply requires the students to have their mobile devices from where all the concepts will be visualized through an App. Chang and Yu (2017) stated that students only need to have their mobile devices and install the App on biological experiments as the teacher describe the purpose of the experiment and the students use the App to perform the experiment. An experiment on plant and animal cells, for example, can be done through augmented reality App. In fact, Chang and Yu (2017) found that students were able to interact repeatedly with the cells of plants and animals through animated cell experiment using augmented reality technology. It is known that visualizing physical animal cells such as human cells is not that possible and if possible then it is very costly. Therefore, through the use of augmented technology, learners are able to have a real view of the cells. This enhances understanding of biological concepts.


Case 4: AR heads-up display (HUD) ( by Jun Ma):

One of the important aspects of AR technology is the interface. According to the Merriam-Webster, the official definition of the interface is, “a surface forming a common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases” or “the place at which independent and often unrelated systems meet and act on or communicate with each other” (“Interface.”). Thus, in the application, this aspect of AR technology works as a screen connecting the user and the outside physical world. In fact, one of its most promising application is the AR visual interfaces (Smart et al 12). AR HUD can be hooked with multiple devices, including the mobile phone and eyeglass (Smart et al 12). Currently, there are multiple visual AR interfaces in the market, and the navigation discussed above is one of them. This section primarily focuses on the discussion of another visual AR interface- heads-up display, or HUD (Smart et al 12). In general, there are three types of HUD: monocular, binocular and biocular(see figure 1).
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Figure 1

Source: Kore. “Displays for Augmented and Virtual Reality.” Hacker Noon, Hacker Noon, 7
Oct. 2018, hackernoon.com/displays-for-augmented-and-virtual-reality-2d77b5199a8b.

As seen in figure 1, the monocular type only covers one eye in delivering a single viewing experience, while the other eye still sees the outside physical world as it is. According to Steve Aukstakalnis, monocular has several advantages comparing to the other two types. He described in his book as, “low weight, small form factor, least distracting, easiest integration” (Aukstakalnis, 57). However, it also has several disadvantages, including a small vision view and the difficulty of focusing as each eye sees different things (Aukstakalnis, 57). In general, monocular devices primarily provide information for users ((Aukstakalnis, 95). Currently, the market has several popular monocular products. For example, the Vufine display is one of trendy ones (see figure 2).
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Figure 2
Source: “Vufine Plus.” Mad City Drones, www.madcitydrones.com/vuf-110.

This product is very popular in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) community, as it can help users to keep track of the vision from both the camera of unmanned aerial vehicle and human eyes at the same time. The high definition of black display can be attached to almost every type of glasses, but a certain type is preferred (“Vufine Wearable Display.”). Basically, it would transform the right side of your glasses into a small computer screen. Besides, Vufine cannot talk photo or record video (“Vufine Wearable Display.”). There are several obvious problems with using the Vufine. According to Ken Heron, a photographer, and Youtuber, the display does not hold very stable with the glasses, and oftentimes it will slip down as one moves his or her neck and “constant adjustment” is required, which can be a very frustrating and tedious thing (Heron). Besides, in order to see the image of the display clearly, one has to close his or her left eye, which certainly is not a comfortable movement. In addition, the unbalance of glasses after attaching Vufine also prevents users for longtime use. Thus, there is still much room of improvement in terms of Vufine’s user experience.

Another noticeable and prevalent monocular product is Google glasses, which might be the most well-known AR product so far to the public. There are multiple colors to this product and this display can attach to glasses with different shapes (see figure 3, 4 and 5).
google-glass.jpg
Figure 3

Source: Rhodan, Maya. “Now Doctors Can Use Google Glass to Record Your Visits.” Time, Time, 13 June 2014, time.com/2869953/google-glass-doctors/.

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Figure 4

Source: “Glass – Glass.” Glass, www.x.company/glass/.

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Figure 5

Source: Manjoo, Farhad. “Living with Google Glass: What Are They Actually like to Wear?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 22 May 2013,

Google glass entered the market in early 2015, and it has been prevalent in numerous industries, including the medical and logistics fields. Likewise, Google glass is also very trendy for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The design of its engineering can also be considered as elegant as an art product. According to Steve Aukstakalnis, “although few of the enabling technologies contained therein are new or revolutionary, their combination in such a small form factor for this purpose, combined with the creative manner in which they can be leveraged by the user to accomplish a host of takes, was itself groundbreaking”(Aukstakalnis, 99). In terms of its capability, it can record both images and videos, as well as surf the internet. At the same time, Google glass also can provide users with language translation services (Blogger). However, Google glass might also bring potential damage to the human body. In 2014, scientific research has shown that using Google glasses might lead to a loss of peripheral vision, and peripheral vision plays a critical part in everyday life (Mozes). Similarly, there are other health concerns related to using Google Glass, so it certainly needs more improvement.

Next, we would discuss the remaining two types. Biocular and binocular provide a single viewing experience to both eyes. The main difference between the two, however, is whether both eyes receive the same message. Binocular has been very popular in the VR (virtual reality) field, as it provides slightly different images to user’s both eyes, in order to create stereoscopic views (Aukstakalnis, 57). According to Steve Aukstakalnis, binocular has advantages like “less weight than binocular, no visual rivalry, useful for close proximity training tasks requiring immersion” (Aukstakalnis, 57). However, it lacks a “stereo depth cues”, which is one of its disadvantages Regarding binocular, it is the most complex and expensive type among all three (Aukstakalnis, 57). Likewise, there are several mature binocular AR products in the market and the DAQRI Smart Helmet (DSH) stands out with its unique and avant-garde shape (see figure 3).

In summary, most of augmenting display products are provided for business, industrial, and defense settings, as the market for general consumers does not have large demands for it (Aukstakalnis, 101). In contrast, most of augmented reality headsets are very expensive. Here is an information table of 10 best AR headsets in 2019 (see Table 1 and Figure 4):

Name Country Year Price
Epson MOVERIO BT-300 US 2016 $699
Everysight Raptor US 2018 $649
Google Glass US 2017 $1,800
Kopin SOLOS US 2016 $499
Meta 2 US 2017 $1,495
ODG R-7 US 2017 $2,750
Toshiba dynaEdge AR100 Viewer Japan 2018 $1,899
Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses US 2018 $1,000
ThirdEye Gen X1 US 2017 $1,299
Vuzix M300 US 2016 $999

Table 1

Source: “The 10 Best Augmented Reality Smartglasses in 2019 (March Update).” Aniwaa, www.aniwaa.com/best-of/vr-ar/best-augmented-reality-smartglasses/.

According to table 1, one can see that the majority of these 10 AR headsets are within the range $499 to 2000, and the ODG R-7 with $2,750 certainly is an outlier in this dataset. Thus, popular AR headsets with good quality, in general, are relatively more expensive than other electronic types of equipment. Likewise, similar phenomena also exist in other fields of AR application.


Comparison of Virtual World headsets: (by Jun Ma)
Virtual reality is almost equivalent to the virtual world, and virtual reality (VR) headset is also one of the most popular applications of VR technology. Likewise, virtual reality headset uses either the binocular or biocular type. The common ground between AR and VR headset is that both of them have a feature of virtual elements. Like mentioned above, AR headset enhances the user’s interactive experiences with the outside physical world by providing information in a virtual way. In contrast, VR headset offers the user a stereoscopic view with full-immersive experiences, which is the reason that monocular is not applicable to VR technology. In general, it seems that VR headsets produce more side effects than AR headsets. According to Steve Aukstakalnis, using AR headset often might lead to dizziness and nausea (Aukstakalnis, 333). Besides, VR also leads to visual accommodation conflicts, and Steve Aukstakalnis wrote in his book,
“Normally, vergence and accommodation are tightly correlated ocular functions that are neutrally linked and reflexive. Unfortunately with most fully immersive stereoscopic head-mounted displays, your eyes are focused at a fixed distance to keep images sharp on the retina, while trying to converge or diverge in objects with varying simulated depths within imagery seen on the display” (Aukstakalnis, 341).
Thus, just like AR headset, there is also a long way to go for VR headset, and certainly those unpleasant user experience need to be fixed.


Augmented Reality, Virtual World, Life Logging, and Cyber Security (by Abdulrahman Alqahtani)

Development in technology has resulted to improvements in both the quality of leisure activities and activities of daily living for individuals that choose to embrace the developments therein. In particular, one of the primary consequences of technology has been the ability to use information to create realities that help in both leisure and formal activities. For instance, the use of augmented reality has been integral to traffic navigation through detection of traffic lines and lights for individuals that use the technology while driving (Cao, Li, Zhou, & Li, 2018). On the other hand, virtual reality has been subject to manipulation for provision of leisure activities that were otherwise absent without the technology. In addition to leisure, the availability of technology in which one can appropriately store and retrieve with ease his or her life experiences led to the development of life logging in the 1990s, which has since been used in individual efforts to analyze and initiate change in one’s behavior.

Notably, the three developments have the use of the internet and cyberspace in common, which presents a challenge due to the ever-present threat of cyber insecurity. In the absence of proper cyber security, it would be difficult to develop a web-based interface that facilitates communication between different vehicles, ultimately enabling effectiveness in the roles of augmented reality on the roads. On the other hand, with the cyberspace offering unlimited storage space and ease of retrieval of data, cyber insecurity threatens the success of life logging activities. Ultimately, this makes cyber security one of the most important factors with a significant effect on the future of technology development and application in improving leisure and activities of daily living.


Weakness: (by Jun Ma)

As discussed above, in terms of user experience, there is still much room for AR technology to improve. We all know that viewing a digital screen like a mobile phone for a long time can lead to vision damage. So, wearing an AR glass means forcing your eyes to face a digital screen in a very close distance, and undoubtedly doing so can cause eye damage. In addition, the AR technology also faces the privacy issue, as it can record everything that a user sees (Fineman and Nick). Unlike the mobile phone, most of the AR headsets would constantly record images or videos without making any sounds, so it would be very difficult for people immersed in the images or videos to notice this. Because of this, currently google glasses are banned in certain places, including cinemas, casinos, and hospitals (Gray). Thus, it is necessary to find some practical ways of regulating such privacy issues caused by AR devices.

Besides, there are growing concerns about the safety issue with AR devices. As discussed above, WayRay’s AR navigation is an outstanding AR product in the automobile field. However, if it is attacked by the hacker on the road, the driver’s view certainly would be greatly affected, which might lead to a car crash. Likewise, playing Pokémon GO while driving is very dangerous behavior. In fact, the game Pokémon GO already led to several accidents. Mara Faccio and John McConnell, two professors from Purdue University, wrote on their research article about Pokémon GO,

"Based on detailed police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana,
we determine that users playing the augmented reality game Pokémon GO while
driving gave rise to a disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes, injuries, and
fatalities in the vicinity of PokéStops over the 148 days following the introduction
of the game.
In total, the estimated incremental costs associated with these
crashes range from $5.2 million to $25.5 million with the variability in the range
being largely attributable to the value assigned to the two incremental lives lost.
Regardless of how they are measured, the costs are significant, as are the implied
increases in vehicular insurance premiums" (Faccio and McConnell, 35).

Thus, it is urgent to implement certain forms of regulation in the entire AR technology market.


Futures: (by Jun Ma)

Although this technology currently faces many issues, it is a consensus to many people that the development of augmented reality is still in the early stage with many future potentials. For example, the AR technology can greatly benefit the higher education field, as it can improve students’ performance and facilitate students’ collaboration (Fineman and Nick). During the class, the AR technology could provide students with a realistic simulation of the class subject through three-dimensional modeling, which would significantly increase student classroom participation and interactive experiences with class contents (Rawat and Divya). Likewise, in the medical field, augmented technology has a noticeable performance, with its impact in increasing a “physican’s level situational awareness and optimize workflows”. It is also leading to better health cares, more promising patient outcome, and more effective utilization of resources (Aukstakalnis, 264). According to Brian Wallace, “By 2025 the healthcare revenue from augmented and virtual reality will be around $5 billion and some technology insiders expect to see the most advancements of AR technology in the healthcare industry” (Wallace). Besides, mobile AR is expected to dominate the entire AR market. According to Haydn Taylor, its revenue in the next threes years is estimated to be double of the total revenue of AR and MR (mixed reality) (Taylor). Likewise, Consultancy.uk, a main online platform for UK consulting industries, predicts the global market size of AR technology to be around $170 billion by 2022 (“Virtual and Augmented Reality”). In sum, augmented reality has a promising future. As more and more capitals are entering this field, AR technologies and products hopefully will become more mature and better in shaping our society and world.


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