Augmented reality (AR – “augmented reality”) is the result of introducing any sensory data into the visual field in order to supplement information about the environment and change the perception of the environment.
Essence and origin
Augmented reality is a perceived mixed reality created with the help of a computer using “augmented” elements of perceived reality, when real objects are mounted in the field of perception.
Among the most common examples of perceived reality augmentation are a parallel colored front line showing the closest fielder to the goal on television broadcasts of football matches, arrows indicating the distance from a free-kick to the goal, a “drawn” puck flight path during a hockey game, a mixture of real and fictional objects in movies and computer or gadget games, etc.
Presumably, the term “augmented reality” was proposed by Boeing researcher Tom Caudell in 1990 . Tom Codel used the term to describe the digital displays that were used to build airplanes. The assemblers carried portable computers with them, could see drawings and instructions using helmets with translucent display panels. 
There are several definitions of augmented reality: researcher Ronald Azuma in 1997 defined it as a system that:
- combines the virtual and the real;
- interacts in real-time;
- works in 3D.
In 1994, Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino described the Milgram’s Reality-Virtuality Continuum – the space between reality and virtuality, between which augmented reality is located (closer to reality) and augmented virtuality (closer to virtuality). Augmented reality is the result of adding imaginary objects to those perceived as elements of the real world, usually as auxiliary information.
Sometimes the terms “augmented reality”, “augmented reality”, “enriched reality”, “augmented reality” are used as synonyms. Such use of the named terms is generally incorrect – the terms “augmented reality”, “augmented reality”, “enriched reality” are applicable only to denote certain forms and aspects of the practical application of augmented reality, while the applicability of the term “augmented reality” is entirely doubtful.
Augmented reality mechanics
- Snap to marker is a mechanic in which an object in augmented reality appears when the camera is hovering over a physical original. Augmented reality content is triggered when a certain trigger appears in the camera’s field of view. A marker can be: images, logos, photographs, sounds.
- Snapping to a plane is a mechanic in which an object in augmented reality appears in space, tied to a specific point selected by the device as a result of scanning. Both horizontal and vertical planes are recognized. This mechanic is used when there is no need to keep the marker in the field of view of the device.
- Binding to geolocation is a mechanic in which an object in augmented reality appears at a certain point in the city. In this case, the marker is geolocation – coordinates.
- Portals are a mechanic in which a space appears in 360 ° in augmented reality. The space can be photographic, video materials, as well as drawn in graphics.
- Interaction with a physical object is a mechanic in which additional elements appear on the physical original in augmented reality. The trigger in such mechanics is a physical object. For this, a digital copy of a physical object is created in 3D space.
- Integration of realistic characters is a mechanic in which a real object is placed in augmented reality. This effect can be achieved in several ways: • 2D video – a real object is filmed on a chroma key from the perspective of human growth, the background is removed in a graphics editor and the image is placed in the AR environment at right angles to the viewer. When the viewer tries to walk around the object, he turns to the viewer with one and the same side, maintaining the illusion of volume. • 4D shooting – studio shooting using a set of special cameras that capture an object in motion. The shooting results in a realistic animated 3D model, ready for integration into the AR environment.
- Advanced functionality – a mechanic that allows you to add interactivity. Opportunities: start animation on click, dialogue with a character, switch to third-party web resources, etc.
- Multiplayer is a mode of joint activity of several devices. Used in games, quests, mass presentations and collaboration between designers and engineers.
- Web AR – viewing AR content on the Internet. There are two types: • View in a browser • Download the application directly to the device
There are many software products for mobile devices that allow using augmented reality to obtain the necessary information about the environment: augmented reality browsers  and specialized programs for individual services, companies, or even single models. The spread of augmented reality itself and the growing popularity of the technology among consumers are associated with the fact that the computing power and a set of sensors in hardware platforms for smartphones and tablet computers allow imposing any digital data on the image received in real time from cameras built into devices. Some of the solutions in this area are embodied in the form of wearable computers (including as elements of smart clothes) for constant contact with the augmented reality environment.
Google is working on the Project Glass headset (one of the first attempts to bring augmented reality to the consumer sector, 2013, development was frozen in 2015. In parallel, the development of the platform for augmented reality Tango, released in 2016), and Vuzix – on Smart Glasses M100 … Microsoft released Hololens for business and professionals in 2016. In June 2017, Apple announced the ARKit platform. Other major companies are pursuing similar developments, including Canon with its MREAL AR glasses for professional designers, as well as many start-up companies.