The Augmented Reality is the superposition of reality and elements calculated by a real-time computer system. It often refers to the different methods of realistically embedding virtual objects in a sequence of images.

OST-AR (optical see-through augmented reality) => The screens are transparent so that the real world is visible through the optics and the digital content added.

Commonly used equipment: Augmented Reality glasses/headsets

VST-AR (video see-through augmented reality) => Use of video feed from the device s’ camera in real time, and integrated into the application; the added digital content will be superimposed on this real time video feed.

Commonly used equipment: smartphones, tablets, mixed reality headsets

The term “virtual reality” typically refers to computer technology that simulates the physical presence of a user in an artificially generated software environment.

Virtual reality blocks reality and supplants it with virtual objects.

The largest area of application is gaming.

Commonly used equipment: Virtual Reality Glasses

eXtended Reality is the generic term used for virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), as well as immersive technologies of future realities.

Smartglasses are a wearable piece of technology that allows to display information in the wearer’s field of view.

The glasses can be stand-alone or connected to a mobile phone. Standalone versions can incorporate an operating system, sensors, memory, one or several cameras, a battery, etc.

These systems are usually called headsets or smartglasses depending on their size and form factor.

There are different categories of smartglasses:

  • Closed types when you are completely immerged onto a virtual world, and meant to be used for Virtual Reality applications => virtual reality headset
  • Closed type for virtual reality applications, with the ability to use cameras to view the real world via the video stream for augmented reality applications => mixed reality headset or XR headset
  • See-through types when you can see the real world through the glasses, and digital information are overlaid, they are used for Augmented Reality => augmented reality smartglasses/headsets

Two see-through type subcategories exist:

  1. Monocular smartglasses, one lens, image appear in front of one eye
  2. Binocular smartglasses, two lenses, image projected right in the field of view

The metaverse (contraction of meta universe) is a concept of infinite and interconnected fictional digital universes in which a person will evolve through an avatar. It will use mixed reality systems (augmented reality, virtual reality). It will be a place to work, but also to play, to access leisure, and to interact with other avatars. This persistent world will continue to exist once left. Exchanges and payments will be made with cryptocurrencies or NFTs.

The contours and structure of the metaverse (resources, materials, security, nature of interactions, etc.) are not yet defined, but the business potential is massive; many companies and brands are already investing to have their place in the metaverse in the future.

An avatar is a custom graphic illustration. It represents a user of a computer, phone, tablet, connected glasses, or a character or alter ego of that user.

An avatar appears either in a three-dimensional  or in a two-dimensional form on Internet forums and virtual worlds. This illustration can be found on websites and online role-playing games.

It is an integral part of webchats, messaging systems, blogs and artificial intelligence, and especially virtual and augmented realities.

The digital twin is the virtual representation of a physical system or process.

This can be a product, a machine, a production line, a process, a supply chain.

The digital twin digitally replicates this physical system or process in the virtual environment, including its functionality, features, and behaviour. It must evolve over time as its real twin.

Intelligent sensors collect data in real time.

It improves the control, security and optimization of production lines and factories, the continuity of the product from its design to its end of life, monitoring and predictive maintenance.

The terms “Assisted Reality” refer to a use case in augmented reality frequently used in the industry. It relates to the use of a software solution and smart glasses (or mobile phone/tablet) to support remotely people in the field.

The most common case is where a field service technician encounters some difficulty; he will use the connected smartglasses, and the video stream of the camera embedded in the glasses will allow an expert to “see what the technician sees” on his computer screen; he can help the technician quickly and efficiently even he is hundreds of miles away.

The expert can share information (diagram, images, videos) that will appear in the technician’s glasses; he can also draw, display arrows, write text in the technician’s field of view to optimize the exchanges.

These Assisted Reality solutions are now recognized for improving team efficiency, increasing site safety and significantly reducing the carbon footprint by optimizing travel.

The WebAR is a way to access Augmented Reality (AR) solutions through an internet browser; it allows the user to access AR experiences without having to download an application.

WebAR content is generally less rich than through an application, but it is more accessible and intuitive. The ongoing improvement of smartphones performance and the simplified access to the cloud will reduce the gap between the two solutions.

The WebAR is currently mainly used for marketing applications, or for tourism.

Spatial computing differs from traditional computing by adding additional dimensions to make all experiences immersive and interactive.

It allows the user to navigate in several associated layers of the physical and virtual worlds, with an increased and very largely virtualized working environment.

Interaction will be through innovative user interfaces such as voice, eyes, head, hands….

“Immersive Learning is an educational modality that relies on immersive technologies (augmented reality, virtual reality (…)) and that exploits their various characteristics to put them at the service of learning, training, transmission”

(France Immersive Learning)

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