Understanding Augmented Reality by Example

on 2009, Blog, ToolsJuly 9th

“AR will overlay computer-generated graphics onto the real world, and dominate. Why?”

click pic to enlarge


It all started when I came back from my cousin Will & Ashleigh’s wedding in Minnesota. Tired from a late night and a day full of flight delays, I happily stared at my beautiful California wall, a wall that was about to see an upgrade to projection screen. I sent this bittersweet image to posterous in bragging rights and came up with the title “My Own Augmented Reality” as a joke.

However, this was not really Augmented Reality and deep within the back of my left brain, I knew it. The next day I knew it even more when I saw a tweet from the revered Adam Broitman, founder of A Media Circ.us.

“When employing Augmented Reality, be sure to Augment, Reality (sounds silly but look at some of the examples out there ask yourself, why?)” on 7/7/2009.

It made me think about my previous post and the responsibility for what I post (or do not clarify) on the web… but led to some happy research on Augmented Reality and the study of Inductive vs. Deductive reasoning… so ‘eh.


Created by BMW, here is a wide array of examples that showcase some of the many ways the world can benefit from AR technology.


Why is Augmented Reality so confusing to understand? I guess it depends on the way someone looks at it. If they look at it Inductively, they will probably come to the wrong conclusion – but don’t worry, I came to the wrong conclusion too. Thus lead to my personal great debate; then clarification of deductive vs. inductive reasoning and left brain vs. right brain characteristics. Kudos to me – but not right away. (Hopefully) we’ll probably learn so much more by time’s end.

I originally thought that Augmented Reality was “a step above through an altered perception of reality”, I came to the following conclusion through Inductive Reasoning. As an example, a person who uses Inductive Reasoning thinks that “because all the sheep I’ve seen are white, all sheep are white.” It’s hardly the case, but it leads to a hard fall that concludes in a thorough understanding. It is a very right-brained characteristic which is still not a bad thing – right brained people are heavily musical, and think of the beatsCreated by Mini-Cooper, here is a great example of how Augmeted Reality also currently benefits the Auto Industrly and the Ad Industry.


None-the-less, any right-brained person will tell you they’ve made a mistake or two, and so did I when deciphering the meaning of “Augmented Reality” one word – by splitting it into two, separate words.

If you can think to heavily with one side of the brain, it’s like keeping a secret from your better half. You’ll never know how much it hurts until it’s too late. -ntho

Inductive Reasoning told me to trust my gut and roll with it – break it apart and remember the roots. However when I did that, Merriam Webster had a different definition of the two, separate words unexpectedly conjoined as one…

According to Merriam Webster Augmented Reality (AR) is

of a musical interval : made one half step greater than major or perfect
(Dictionary.com defines Augmeted “to make larger; enlarge in size, number, strength, or extent; increase:”)

1: the quality or state of being real2 a (1): a real event, entity, or state of affairs (2): the totality of real things and events b: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily3: television programming that features videos of actual occurrences (as a police chase, stunt, or natural disaster) —often used attributively
— in reality: in actual fact

Confused? I’m sure, like always, Merriam-Webster will end the confusion soon … or [petition here].(That’s kind of a right brained joke in case you didn’t catch it. 😉 )

According to Wikipedia Augmented Reality (AR) is
…a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time. The term is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, an employee of Boeing at the time[1].

At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial markers recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.

According to Wikipedia, the FAKE GRAPHIC HAND IN THE TV IN A PICTURE is NOT Augmented Reality. (above)

World, you have some of the smartest people I know – let me know if you have another perception. Thanks!!

[References on Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning]




[References on Augmented Reality]






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