Picture this. You are learning about anatomy, and it is time to study for your exam. However, you reach over your textbook and grab a pair of goggles. You place the goggles on your head and you pull up a picture of the human body. The image appears in front of you, floating in mid-air. The 3D picture reacts to your hands and your position in space. You can pull apart the image of the midsection and locate the digestive system, you can scope through the eye socket and discover its connection to the brain and you are able to count the bones in each foot while looking at every angle. You do all of this without moving from your couch or opening a book. There is no small screen. There are no two-dimensional limitations to your exploration of the human body. This is our future.
Having a computer generated image superimposed on reality is called augmented reality. It has a vast array of academic and scientific applications. However, it is currently being used for a cellphone game. This game is called Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go allows users to travel their neighborhood, city, state, country or the world battling and capturing Pokémon. This game encourages users to travel and be active.
Pokémon Go works on the Google Maps system along with the cellphone’s locator. When you are close to a certain location at a specific time, you can either capture a Pokémon or use a gym to battle other Pokémon. The players are called “trainers” and the goal is to collect all the Pokémon just as it was in the popular show aired in the late 90’s. Pokémon is owned by Nintendo, but the game was created by another company. Nintendo has seen a 30 percent raise in its stocks since the game was released a week ago.
Along with an impressive increase in market share is a collection of various accidents related to playing the game. Police have warned players to avoid playing while driving cars or bicycles. In addition, you must continue to be aware of your surroundings. Incidents have included robbing, car accidents, getting hit by cars and stabbings. One police report claims a man was stabbed while playing and even kept playing until paramedics arrived.
This is only one application of augmented reality, but it is of the first versions so easily available to the public. The applications are endless. You could check out furniture in your house before you buy it or study the layout of our galaxy. The future of augmented reality still needs work, but we are on a path to a new and exciting technology.
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