Augmented Reality

By Sarah Dawes, Client Services Coordinator aka @SDawesie

What is it?
“At Madison+Main, we know the difference between what’s new and what’s next.”

We’ve been living by this phrase at Madison+Main since the very beginning, which might be why we’re all completely jazzed about augmented reality: a new technology that uses computer generated images to blur the lines between what’s real and what isn’t. Considered to be an extension of virtual reality, augmented reality differs by actually enhancing one’s current perception of reality. While virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one, augmented reality superimposes artificial information onto a real world setting, making the technology that much more alluring and interactive for users. Yelp has been using a version of augmented reality for two years now, and at Madison+Main we’re partnering locally with the augmented reality development group ReelVR – we’ll have more on that relationship in next week’s blog.

How it Works
Any kind of smart phone or tablet with a camera is all that is needed for augmented reality apps such as Aurasma and ReelVR to function. When opening the app and holding the camera over a trigger image (identifiable to the user by an icon in the corner), the app recognizes the trigger image and loads the virtual information associated with that image. To get a better understanding, check out these videos of the Aurasma app at work.

For the Future
As the technology and creativity grows, the possibilities for augmented reality apps are endless. Smart phones dominate the 40-and-under market today, meaning that more and more people are gaining access to the technology that alters reality right before your eyes. And with the trigger for these apps varying from images on paper to actual installations, the future of augmented reality continues to expand.