Augmented Reality

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"Augmented reality combines features of a virtual environment with the real world. Most often, the augmentation is visual, with a user sporting an eyepiece connected to a wearable computer and positioning equipment. By tracking where the user’s head is and what he is seeing, the computer is able to overlay graphics and/or text onto his vision."


2. Bitstamp:

"In augmented reality (AR), computer-generated graphics are combined with what users can sense in the real world. Whereas VR relies on the separation of real and virtual content, AR embraces and intentionally blurs the lines between the two.

This can be done by representing real-world objects digitally, or by projecting digital objects into a real space. Therefore, the technology used in AR is similar to VR, but it allows the user to see and hear their surroundings so it can augment them with digital substance.

AR can be instrumental in education by imparting knowledge in unique tactile and kinetic ways not possible through simply reading a book or listening to a lecture. Using AR, students can interact with chemical structures, anatomic models, and even complex manufactured goods like engines.

It can also simply help you plan how to arrange your furniture, overlaying a new couch onto your floor through the view from your phone’s camera.

Of note, sometimes the term mixed reality (MR) is used to describe any XR experience that is not fully real or virtual, and thus it includes AR."



Open Source Software

Wikipedia. Augmented Reality. Open source software [1]:

(dual-license: GPL, commercial) C-library to create augmented reality applications; was ported to many different languages and platforms like Android, Flash or Silverlight; very widely used in augmented reality related projects

library for augmented reality applications based on OpenCv; licenses: BSD, Linux, Windows

reality engine for Android and iPhone; works as an autonomous application and for developing other implementations

component framework for the Symbian<> platform, released under EPL <>; website is down but there is some information here<>

Tech <>'s GVU Center<> that uses a mix of KML and HTML/JavaScript/CSS to allow developing AR applications; any web content (with appropriate meta-data and properly formatted) can be converted into AR content; currently available only for the iPhone <>, website is down

for research on 3D user interfaces, including mobile augmented reality and virtual reality, with an emphasis on games. It is written in C# and based on Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1


PJ Rey against Digital Dualism:

"What distinguishes a mediated-reality perspective from an augmented-reality perspective is, precisely, that it fails to capture the recursivity of the online and offline. In fact, it generally examines the way in which the online alters the offline at the expense of recognizing the ways in which the offline has always been reproduced through the online. For this reason, the mediated-reality perspective distorts the social world. It tends to reinforce digital dualism even as it attacks it, by assuming that that online networks and their content emerged ex nihlio. Thus, I generally view “mediated reality” as a pejorative descriptor. Nevertheless, mediate reality was the predominant ideology informing Internet research in the 2000s.

If mediated-reality is problematic, virtual reality is more problematic. Not only does virtual reality assume that the origins of the online world are independent of the offline world, it also assume that the online world has no bearing on the offline world – the online is assumed to be completely isolated from and to actually “displace” the offline world. The concept of virtual reality is digital dualism par excellance. Early (1990s) Internet literature is widely characterized by the virtual reality perspective of the Internet. For this reason, it was filled with skepticism and concern that our healthy social interaction was giving way to unhealthy simulated social interaction. Despite the fact that a number of studies (e.g., Wellman, 2001) that demonstrate the coextensive nature of online and offline social interaction, many theorists discussing social media tend to continue reify this supposed dichotomy.

In the tradition of much post-Modern theorizing, “augmented reality” offers a new conceptual paradigm, seeking to implode/queer/do category work on the real/virtual dichotomy and make room for a more flexible understanding of social media that allows for recursivity between these two concepts. A person embedded in augmented reality is a cyborg in the Harawaysian sense. For this reason, the editors of this blog have proposed – somewhat tongue-in-cheek – that our research is best understood as “cyborgology.” In augmented reality, the culture is hyper-literally super-imposed on the material. Our bodies and all other objects in the world become canvases for the digital and its rapid circulation of signs and symbols. In Bauman’s term, everything becomes a conduit of Liquid (post-)Modernity. However, the symbolic order expressed through the digital does not emerge out of nothing; it is a reproduction or extension of what has always existed. The digital and material are always in circulation and neither can be abstracted from the new order of social relations. That is to say, society in neither online or offline; it is augmented. Thus, augmented reality and the cyborgs who populate it are now the proper objects of sociological inquiry." (

More Information

  1. Video: Introducing Augmented Reality
  2. Occlusive Reality