Augmented Reality or mixed reality superimposes digital data on the real-world environment. The Pokémon GO game brought AR into the limelight. It is a renowned mobile game that uses the concept of Augmented Reality development. It uses the mobile phone’s GPS to track the player’s location. As the player moves, his virtual avatar is superimposed on the surroundings along with the virtual content created in the game, e.g., gyms, pokemon, etc.
The user then tries to catch the Pokemon that is displayed in the current surroundings created by the mobile phone’s camera. During the initial years of AR, its usage was limited to games only. But, nowadays, a business hire augmented reality developer to develop AR-based mobile apps to venture into domains like medicine, education, retail, tourism, etc. Image recognition is a key area in which Augmented Reality is being used in the current scenario in mobile apps.
An Overview of Image Recognition
Recognition uses the identification of real-world objects, items, faces, and shapes to provide additional information to the app user in a real-time environment. It enables the AR app to identify particular images on which the digital content is superimposed. A smartphone with an appropriate app can use recognition to read barcodes and provide information like reviews, prices, nutritional information, etc. It can also be used to identify human faces and then open their social media profiles on their mobile phone.
For this functionality to work properly, Augmented Reality triggers are identified in advance. Augmented Reality triggers are the image targets that are already fed into the system. Seeing the image through the smartphone’s camera, which is specified as an AR trigger; initiates its functioning. These triggers if used, in the context of location, are often called markers.
Marker-Based Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality markers are visual signals that trigger the display of virtual information stored digitally in the app. Markers are small images or objects which the app has been trained to identify as a trigger to run its visual show. A simple example of this is to display an animation to explain a concept given in a book right onto the book page itself.
The page should have a marker, e.g., an image with lots of visual points. As soon as the liver camera view captures the marker, it starts running the animation associated with that marker. The marker can be any image with quite a few corners and edges for its unique identification, e.g., logo, barcode, poster, etc. In marker-based AR, the app needs to know the exact location where the user is looking. Most of the markers are black and white to avoid mixing with a real-world object. Colored markers can also be used as long as their contrast can be identified by the camera.
The markers can be simple images comprising basic shapes like black squares with a white background or complex images like a tattoo having multiple layers of basic shapes. The camera in the phone is used to detect markers as the location of virtual objects. The animation or video associated can then be played on the location of the marker. Businesses can hire AR developers online to develop AR apps requiring animation and video support along with markers.
Marker-Less Augmented Reality
An AR app that does not needs a trigger to overlay three-dimensional content onto the environment is called a markerless AR app. It does not require any prior knowledge of the environment. This kind of app displays the 3D content in any location wherever the user holds it stationary. The difference from a user’s perspective is only that the surface on which the content is displayed can be anywhere. In these apps, there is no need for image recognition systems. It permits the use of the physical environment instead of markers. It uses the GPS features of smartphones to interact with the virtual resources of the app.
Image Recognition using Marker-Based AR
The Marker-based image recognition system comprises modules like camera, image capturing, image processing, rendering, marker tracking, and display. The camera module is used to capture input from the live feed of the smartphone camera. This live feed is passed onto the image-capturing module. The image-capturing module analyses this feed frame-by-frame to generate binary images. These binary images are forwarded to the image processing module, which detects the marker.
The position of the marker is required to know the location where the virtual object is to be placed. The marker position is provided as input to the marker tracking module. The marker tracking module calculates the position of the camera relative to the marker position, i.e., the pose. The pose indicates the 3D orientation and 3D location of the object. The pose is passed onto the rendering module as input. The rendering module is used to combine the image with virtual components. The display module then superimposes the augmented image of the surrounding environment.
Marker-based AR is a relatively simple and easy-to-implement type of AR, which is why it is often used in mobile applications. There are many different marker-based AR mobile applications available, such as:
IKEA Place: It allows users to see how furniture from IKEA would look in their homes. The user simply scans a room in their home with the app, and then they can place virtual furniture in the room to see how it would look.
The Pokémon Go: This popular game uses marker-based AR to allow users to catch Pokémon in the real world. The user simply walks around with their phone, and the app will scan for Pokémon markers. When a Pokémon marker is found, the user can tap on it to start a battle.
Google Lens: Google Lens allows users to scan objects in the real world to learn more about them. For example, the user can scan a plant with the app to learn its name and care instructions.
The Future of Marker-Based AR Mobile Applications
Marker-based AR mobile applications are still a relatively new technology, but they have the potential to put-to-use in a wide variety of applications. Some potential applications include:
- Shopping: AR apps could put-to-use help users visualize how furniture or other products would look in their homes.
- Education: AR apps could put-to-use provide interactive learning experiences.
- Tourism: AR apps could provide tourists with information about the places they are visiting.
- Gaming: AR games could put-to-use to create more immersive and engaging experiences.
The future of marker-based AR mobile applications is bright. As technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting applications for this technology.
The marker-based augmented reality app development for image recognition helps to combine the virtual world with the physical world. The main advantage of this technology is that there is no need for expensive head-mounted display devices. From the consumer’s point of view, one does not need to buy a product to see whether it fits in their environment. The 3D images can be directly fetched from the website of the vendor to augment the consumer’s home layout. To conclude, Augmented Reality is the future with applications in almost all domains.
What is an example of a marker-based AR?
An example of a marker-based Augmented Reality (AR) is the use of QR codes. By scanning a QR code with a smartphone or AR-enabled device, digital content, such as images, videos, or 3D models, can be superimposed onto the real-world environment. The QR code serves as a visual marker that triggers the AR experience, allowing users to interact with virtual elements in a physical space. This technology finds applications in marketing, education, and entertainment industries, enhancing user engagement and providing immersive experiences.
What is the main difference between marker-based and marker-less AR?
The main difference between marker-based and markerless Augmented Reality (AR) lies in how they track and integrate virtual content into the real world. Marker-based AR relies on predetermined visual markers, such as QR codes or specific images, to trigger and anchor virtual elements in the physical environment. In contrast, markerless AR uses computer vision, sensors, and algorithms to identify and track real-world features, like objects or surfaces, without the need for predefined markers. This enables markerless AR to offer more spontaneous and dynamic AR experiences, whereas marker-based AR requires pre-established markers for accurate content placement.
What are the different types of augmented reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) encompasses various types: Marker-Based and Markerless AR use markers or sensors, Location-Based AR links to geographic locations, Projection-Based AR projects virtual images, and Superimposition-Based AR overlays digital content onto real scenes. Recognition-Based AR identifies objects, Gesture-Based AR responds to gestures, and Wearable AR employs devices like smart glasses. Web-Based AR runs in browsers, while Social AR enhances social media. Remote AR aids with visual instructions. These types collectively offer a range of immersive experiences in diverse fields.