Understanding Augmented Reality

Concepts and Applications

Augmented reality is not a technology. Augmented reality is a medium. Likewise, a book on augmented reality that only addresses the technology that is required to support the medium of augmented reality falls far short of providing the background that is needed to produce, or critically consume augmented reality applications. One reads a book. One watches a movie. One experiences augmented reality. Understanding Augmented Reality addresses the elements that are required to create compelling augmented reality experiences. The technology that supports augmented reality will come and go, evolve and change. The underlying principles for creating exciting, useful augmented reality experiences are timeless.

  Augmented reality designed from a purely technological perspective will lead to an AR experience that is novel and fun for one-time consumption-but is no more than a toy. Imagine a filmmaking book that discussed cameras and special effects software, but ignored cinematography and storytelling!  In order to create compelling augmented reality experiences that stand the test of time and cause the participant in the AR experience to focus on the content of the experience - rather than the technology - one must consider how to maximally exploit the affordances of the medium.

Understanding Augmented Reality addresses core conceptual issues regarding the medium of augmented reality as well as the technology required to support compelling augmented reality.  By addressing AR as a medium at the conceptual level in addition to the technological level, the reader will learn to conceive of AR applications that are not limited by today’s technology.  At the same time, ample examples are provided that show what is possible with current technology.

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Primary: College students and faculty in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Digital Media.  Developers, Human-Computer Interaction Professor, Graphic Designers, Research Director, Technology Director, New Media Director, Digital Artist, Game Developers, Mobile App Developers, Programmers.

Secondary: Advertising, Marketing, Entertainment fields.

Level: Beginner 


Book information

  • Published: June 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-240-82408-6


"…Craig, an expert on data visualization, supercomputing, and augmented and virtual reality, offers a work intended for AR users, scholars, and developers. The introductory chapter discusses the history of AR and provides a detailed description of how the technology allows the user to interact with the (augmented) world. The rest of the book covers topics of interest to both users and developers…"--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
"This book offers great support for courses on human-computer interaction, interaction design, usability, and video game design, and could serve as a fundamental textbook for augmented reality courses. It will also be a valuable reference for augmented reality researchers and practitioners."--ComputingReviews.com, September 30, 2013

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1  What is Augmented Reality?
  • Chapter 2  Augmented Reality Concepts
  • Chapter 3  Content is Key! Augmented Reality Content
  • Chapter 4  Augmented Reality Hardware
  • Chapter 5  Augmented Reality Software
  • Chapter 6  Interaction in Augmented Reality
  • Chapter 7  Mobile Augmented Reality
  • Chapter 8  Augmented Reality Applications
  • Chapter 9 The future of Augmented Reality