Augmented reality is one of the latest technological advancements and is changing our world in a very *real* way! It is through augmented reality (AR) that we are able to take creative digital stories, characters, items, and experiences, and interact with them in the world around us with the simple use of a mobile device. All we need is our camera and screen, and the magic happens before our eyes! Want to know more about AR? Here are 7 things you didn’t know about augmented reality!

1. Augmented Reality Began In 1968

Although it may seem that augmented reality is a recent development, it’s roots have actually been around for over 50 years. It was first in 1968 that computer scientist and internet pioneer Ivan Sutherland created what is now seen as the first example of *Virtual Reality*, which has laid the foundation for today’s *Augmented Reality*. Although it was not as practical as our current application of AR, his version included a large head-mounted display system named the ‘Sword of Damocles’ which showed the user a wireframe room based on where they moved their head. It was this bulky, primitive ‘alternate-reality’ that sparked further interest and study in the area. It was not until the 1990’s that a more advanced and fully-functioning augmented reality was created, and ever since, AR has and will continue to gain momentum!

2. Not the Same as Virtual Reality

The terms augmented reality and virtual reality are often used to describe the same thing. But the two are quite different:

  • Virtual reality is the creation and display of an entire world that is simulated. The most common form of virtual reality is in digital games that completely immerse a player into a different world using a screen based headset and handheld paddles – making every movement of the real-world player appear as a movement in the virtual world.
  • Augmented reality is different in the sense that only characters and certain items are virtually created. Through the use of a camera on a mobile device, images are superimposed upon the current real-world scene that you are witnessing. This is most commonly seen in the Pokémon Go app and Snapchat filters where augmented reality is the focus.

3. Augmented Reality’s Potential for Larger Projects

Not only does AR provide an exciting adventure for gamers, but the potential for enormous larger scale augmented reality projects as well. These projects include things like realistic simulations used for everything from safety training to clothes shopping, guiding people through confusing or busy places (such as the Gatwick Airports AR app) — even NASA has used AR since 1998 to assist with focused areas such as navigation. With these past and current uses of AR, the future is bright for opportunities to use this tech in large, life changing projects for the public, major corporations, and even government.

4. Augmented Reality Works on More Than Phones

Although we often associate AR with apps on our mobile phones, augmented reality is useable on other devices as well. The most common devices usable for AR display are:

  • Mobile Phones
  • Tablets or iPads
  • Head Mounted Displays
  • Glasses
  • Other Screens or Projections

Some of the current and existing augmented reality devices include glasses such as Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap Lightwear, Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, and several others. With further developments, it can be expected that there will soon be numerous AR-focused devices readily available for use!

5. Two Different Types of Augmented Reality

There is a lot more to the technology of AR than you might think, when you’re simply pointing your camera at a location and seeing an image. Rather, augmented reality is available in two different forms, both varying on how and when images are displayed upon your screen. The two different types are:

  • Marker-Based AR: This first type of AR works when specific images are identified through the camera data that has been provided beforehand. For example, the app Snapchat uses the shape of a face to present the augmented reality of filters – the face being the marker on which to apply the augmented reality elements.
  • Marker-Less AR: In this second type of AR, no knowledge of the environment is needed, and instead augmented images are displayed as an overlay. The image is shown upon a fixed spot, allowing the user to move freely without restrictions. Examples that use this type of AR include Pokémon Go and the upcoming treasure hunt gaming app, Rogue’s Atlas!

6. Augmented Reality Beyond the Screen

Although AR experiences often require a screen and display, there are other types of augmented realities being discovered – one being AR through light! Projection AR takes augmented reality away from the screen and instead allows you to engage with light projected upon surfaces. One example of this is a projected piano on the floor that creates sound when someone ‘steps’ on the lighted keys. This larger-scale interactive AR is a wonderful addition to the tech that lights up parties, events, conferences, and art displays!

7. A Primary Feature on the Rogue’s Atlas App

Augmented reality has come a long way in the past few years, and it is with this technology that Rogue’s Atlas has developed portions of its treasure hunting gameplay! To be released this fall 2019, the Rogue’s Atlas app is a puzzle, adventure, and treasure hunting mobile game that allows users to explore the world around them and compete for cash prizes!

Valuable Rogue’s Atlas treasure will be hidden in major cities across Canada through the use of augmented reality! In ‘Treasure Hunt Mode,’ gamers will use their phones to explore familiar locations in their area to ‘unearth’ AR Rogue’s Atlas treasure chests. These treasure chests are worth in-game gold, avatar upgrades, bonus items, and other exciting rewards!

With augmented reality, the past, present, and future can all come together to create an exciting world for us to explore. Are you ready to dig into the newest AR with the new Rogue’s Atlas app? Subscribe to be notified of the game’s release (and earn 100 in-game gold!) and prepare for the world’s greatest treasure hunt!