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Surprising Science

Watch: The New Augmented Reality

Developers in Germany have demonstrated “real” augmented reality which uses smartphones to integrate real-time data into a three dimensional urban landscape.

What’s the Latest Development?

A German technology company is taking big steps toward making augmented reality something more than a graphic overlay on a smartphone screen. By building a three-dimensional model of a city, the developers have successfully overlaid real-time information onto the surrounding urban landscape. The most stubborn obstacle in making augmented reality is accurately knowing what the smartphone camera is pointing at in order to overlay data onto that screen. Currently, G.P.S. systems are not accurate enough. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionize the way we experience the world. In the city of the future, businesses and governments will enrich physical objects with data that will be displayed visually and personalized to your taste. You will see only the sales at stores you like and transportation updates for only the train lines you take. And if digital overlays can be integrated into eyeglasses, a technology that already exists in its beginning stages, we may never go back to plain old reality again. 


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