The Oxford English Dictionary defines augmented reality as the use of technology which allows the perception of the physical world to be enhanced or modified by computer-generated stimuli. By adding graphics, sounds and other sensory elements to the reality we see, it blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. Unlike virtual reality where you’re immersed in a virtual world, augmented reality adds to and enhances our real world environment. So picture being able to see information about traffic, weather, restaurants and other things superimposed to your environment as you're walking down the street. Or like Iron Man.
Thanks to the craze of the Pokémon Go game, it has taken augmented reality into the mainstream. With 100 million downloads, it has introduced and popularized this technology to the general public. Players catch Pokémons that are digitally superimposed into our real world environments. The novelty of seeing Pokémons in real life and the obsession of collecting them, has contributed to the game’s success. You can even catch Pokémons, stock up on supplies or battle your Pokémon at the library. Check out the list of library branches with Pokémons, Poké Stops and gym locations.
If catching Pokémons isn’t your thing, technology blog Gizmodo provides a list of alternative augmented reality mobile apps. How cool is it to be able to see if a piece of furniture goes with the décor in your room before buying it with the Ikea app? The possibilities of augmented reality seem endless. In addition to gaming, it can be used in education, health care, engineering and much more.
To learn more able augmented reality and virtual reality, check out some of these e-books:
Prefer to read from a physical book? Here are some books on the topics:
To stay updated on the latest technology, here are some e-magazines that can be accessed on your computer, mobile device or tablet:
Don't forget to check out one of our Digital Innovation Hubs for access to the latest technology like 3D printers. At the North York Central Library, we'll be getting our own Digital Innovation Hub and creation space after the renovation. In the meantime, signup for one of our digital design classes to learn about 3D design, computer graphics, audio editing and more.