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Disruptive technologies for smart cities - Augmented Reality

Disruptive technologies for smart cities - Augmented Reality

This is the next article from the series the team of the cluster member KISMC started this year for disruptive technologies for smart cities. The content is based on the outputs produced under the project Smart technologies by design (Smart by Design). The Augmented Reality is the enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user's view of the real world.

 In other words, AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real-time. It is common for people to confuse it with virtual reality, but the AR uses an already existing natural environment and superimposes on top of it. Users of AR experience a new and improved natural world with the interaction of virtual information which provides different interactive options. In case of the virtual reality, it creates a totally artificial new environment. Even if the technology apparently is perfect for leisure and enjoyment, the truth is that AR is becoming very useful in many industries, like healthcare, public sector, tourism, marketing industry... The Augmented Reality embraces the different type of technologies. All of them have different own use cases:

  • Marker Based Augmented Reality: using a camera and a visual marker, some results are obtained when a reader senses a marker (ex: QR Code). This is the simplest AR technology as it does not need much power to process.
  • Marker-less Augmented Reality: this kind of AR uses GPS, digital compass, velocity meter, or other types of sensors to provide data on location. This is mostly used for mapping, locating directions, or businesses.
  • Projection Based Augmented Reality: it projects artificial light onto real-world surfaces. It is used mostly to overlap holograms.
  • Superimposition Based Augmented Reality: it replaces the original object with a newly augmented view of that object. It is very useful for commercial uses.
  • There are some components required for AR devices: sensors, cameras, projectors, processors, and reflection machines.

Current situation

Existed platforms

As mentioned above, there are many different types of applications of Augmented Reality in different use cases. Below are some use cases and providers:

Existed standards

There are many international standards for the application of the Augmented Reality in multiple sectors. Some of the most relevant ones:

  • IEEE P802.15.8 - Wireless Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications for Peer Aware Communications (PAC)
  • IEEE P1278.2 - Draft Standard for Distributed Interactive Simulation - Communication Services and Profiles
  • IEEE P1484.11.1 - Draft Standard for Learning Technology--Data Model for Content Object Communication
  • IEEE P1589 - Standard for an Augmented Reality Learning Experience Model
  • IEEE P2048.1 - Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Device Taxonomy and Definitions
  • IEEE P2048.2 - Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive Video Taxonomy and Quality Metrics
  • IEEE P2048.3 - Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive Video File and Stream Formats
  • IEEE P2048.4 - Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Person Identity
  • IEEE P2048.5 - Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Environment Safety
  • IEEE P2200 - Draft Standard Protocol for Stream Management in Media Client Devices
  • IEEE P3333.1.2 - Standard for the Perceptual Quality Assessment of Three Dimensional (3D) and Ultra High Definition (UHD) Contents
  • IEEE 802.1AB-2009 - IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area networks -- Station and Media Access Control Connectivity Discovery
  • IEEE 802.1AE-2006 - IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Media Access Control (MAC) Security
  • IEEE 802.1AX-2008 - IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Link Aggregation*
  • IEEE 802.1AR-2009 - IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Secure Device Identity
  • ISO/IEC 23000-13:2017 Information technology - Multimedia application format (MPEG-A) - Part 13: Augmented reality application format
  • ISO 9241-940:2017 Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 940: Evaluation of tactile and haptic interactions

Here is a more complected list with standards: http://standards.ieee.org/innovate/ar/stds.html

Standards under development

The Augmented Reality is a very new technology that still is working in setting standards. Especially the IEEE Standards Association is working on new standards for virtual and augmented realities which already count with a working group establishing categories for devices. Standards that are building are related to video quality, user interfaces, and file formats. Even if they're already a great number of projects and standards identified, more will be discussed due to the different sectors which will be able to apply.

Some of the standards under development are:

  • ISO/IEC DIS 18039 Information technology -- Mixed and augmented reality (MAR) reference model
  • ISO/IEC AWI 21858 Information model for mixed and augmented reality (MAR) contents
  • ISO/IEC DIS 18040 Information technology -- Computer graphics, image processing, and environmental data representation -- Live actor and entity representation in mixed and augmented reality (MAR)
  • ISO/IEC DIS 18520 Information technology -- Computer graphics, image processing, and environmental data representation -- Benchmarking of vision-based spatial registration and tracking methods for mixed and augmented reality (MAR)
  • ISO/IEC CD 18038 Information technology -- Computer graphics, image processing, and environmental data representation and coding of audio, picture, multimedia, and hypermedia information -- Sensor representation in mixed and augmented reality (MAR)

Potential applications

The Augmented Reality has an enormous potential in most of the sectors. Some of the potential uses are:

  • Healthcare: probably one of the most benefitted sectors thanks to the AR. It will help to improve complicate medical procedures. It will also help for the training of non-expert surgeons and students.
  • Education: it will allow students to be trained in the simulation of real environments accelerating the learning process
  • Recruitment: new recruiting techniques imply the use of new technologies like VR and AR.
  • Reality glasses for people with any visual impairment to help them with daily life difficulties
  • Reparation and maintenance of machines
  • Ecommerce: previsualization of products
  • Shows and sports visualization: it will provide a better view of what is happening in some fields in which the view is not the best (ex: golf)
  • Navigation and location, showing best places or meeting points in 3D.
  • Gaming will keep improving and trying to maximize the AR which will help them to provide a more realistic way of gaming.
  • Silver Economy: where elder people will be able to recreate some of past moments and will be able to train their cognitive capacities.
  • Sales: where sellers will be able to show previously how their product will be produced (Automotive industries for example
  • The gaming industry will continue evolving thanks to the application of AR on most platforms

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