18 July 2016
By Rowin Meijerink
Augmented reality, a real-world environment with computer-generated input, is becoming more and more embedded in our society. In that respect, the eighties’ movie ‘Who framed Roger Rabbit’, a ground breaking movie in the world of animation, could be considered to be a prophecy that we are heading toward a society in which the line separating created reality and the real world of flesh and bones becomes more blurred than ever. It might even go back as far as Georges Méliès’ famous hilarious posters, though, where movies show drawings that come to life. Nowadays, it is very common that movies integrate augmented reality features, such as ‘Iron Man’ or ‘Avatar’.
AR technology might completely take over our normal day lives in the future (as nicely outlined in the short 7-minute movie Sight), and already plays an important role in many applications: VeinViewer, assisting hospital staff projecting images of veins on the human body, SmartCam3D, a military system, combining geographic information with live video from a camera system, or iSkull, an educational application, allowing students to study the human skull. However, the most impactful current AR application, that is very much playing on the minds of the general public, is the game Pokemon Go. In this Nintendo video game, people need to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokemon, that appear in the real world. Be careful though, when you play it. It might be addictive, and it was already the cause of some accidents.