Getting started in Augmented Reality

It was this video that made me excited about Augmented Reality.

Being a snowboarder I fell in love with this use case and can’t wait to try this out or even build something like this in the future.

Day 1 – Who, What, Where, When & Why

I am a complete newbie at this point and my goal to learn all I can about Augmented Reality in 2017.

I have some development experience in Ruby on Rails, HTML, and some Javascript, but over the past 15 years, I’ve worked primarily in strategy, analysis, marketing & web development.

Diving into AR will be a challenge I’m not used, but I’m up for it as this technology is very interesting and the use cases are only limited by imagination.

This post is intended to capture my learning process, the resources I find and use along the way and any thoughts I have. If you have any suggestions or tips for me, leave a comment below or find me on Twitter.

At this point, I’ve had limited exposure to Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality. I’ve seen a few videos and read a few articles so when I say I’m a newbie, I mean it. I’m starting from scratch.

The rest of this post begins to describe my journey into AR and cataloging the various helpful resources I am collecting to help me learn. I hope you find these helpful if you find yourself on this same path to learning all you can about Augmented Reality.

What is Augmented Reality?

I thought it would be a good idea to capture the definition of what AR is and then start to get into the use cases, and then the mechanics of using this technology.

Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer.

Augmented Reality Influencers & Experts

My first instinct was to find others in this industry and start consuming information and building my social network in this industry.

I started off looking on Twitter for Augmented Reality influencers to follow them to keep up to date on the leading edge. You can see my growing list here. These people are a wealth of knowledge in this growing industry and I hope to start building relationships with them as I get deeper into this world of AR.

Augmented Reality Youtube channels

Here are a few youtube channels I found that had great tutorials on Augmented Reality.

 

Augmented Reality Use cases

I’m fascinated by the use cases that Augmented Reality can address. It brings some very new advanced visualization capabilities with real-time data synchronized into the physical world and use cases at this point are only limited by imagination.

 

Augmented Reality Software & Tools

After searching around, I found that Wikipedia has a great list of Augmented Reality software and tools. It’s a little overwhelming to say the least and knowing where to focus my time is going to be challenging.

After doing a little more reading, it seems that Unity3d is the best place to start. I’ve started to learn about Unity 3d software, downloaded it to my PC to start playing around and getting familiar with the Interface. I’m also exploring Google Tango as i’m going to focus on smartphone AR rather than headsets considering these hardware products are not cheap.

Augmented Reality Headsets & Hardware

From what I have learned, AR hardware is still in its infancy. Smartphones are more mainstream and then there are the wearable headsets. Headsets are still very new and developing fast.

Smartphones

From what I have read so far, the missing link on most of the smartphones outthere today is the need for dual cameras. Dual cameras will help provide the platform on which to expand fully into AR on smartphones.

Wearables

The Microsoft Hololens seems to be the one wearable headset that is leading the pack but, here are others I have discovered that look promising as well.

Most of these products are still in development but some are already available for pre-order.

The general advice I got from those working in Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality Books

These are some of the books I found and hope to read. The first one on my list just arrived. It’s not a technical book but one that speaks to the future of where all this AR, VR & MR is going.

  1. The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything
  2. Augment’s Essential Guide to Augmented Reality
  3. Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice
  4. Practical Augmented Reality: A Guide to the Technologies, Applications, and Human Factors for AR and VR
  5. Develop Microsoft HoloLens Apps Now
  6. Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technologies Guide to AR
  7. Understanding Augmented Reality: Concepts and Applications
  8. Prototyping Augmented Reality
  9. Visualization and Engineering Design Graphics with Augmented Reality
  10. Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide

Summary

So far this first month has been interesting and a little intimidating as well. Lots to learn and internalize but as with anything complex, it should be looked at as a marathon, not a sprint.

Got any comments, tips or suggestions for me. Anything is much appreciated.

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