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Understanding Augmented Reality - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780240824086, 9780240824109

Understanding Augmented Reality

1st Edition

Concepts and Applications

Author: Alan Craig
Paperback ISBN: 9780240824086
eBook ISBN: 9780240824109
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 5th June 2013
Page Count: 296
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Understanding Augmented Reality addresses the elements that are required to create 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.

Key Features

  • Explore the different techniques, technologies and approaches used in developing AR applications
  • Learn from the author's deep experience in virtual reality and augmented reality applications to succeed right off the bat, and avoid many of the traps that catch new developers and users of augmented reality experiences
  • Some AR examples can be experienced from within the book using downloadable software


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. Advertising, Marketing, Entertainment fields

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword to Alan B. Craig’s Understanding Augmented Reality
  • Preface
  • About this Book
  • How this Book Came to Be
  • Intended Audience
  • Relationship of this Book with Understanding Virtual Reality and Developing Virtual Reality Applications
  • Special Features of this Book
  • Supplemental Materials
  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. What Is Augmented Reality?
    • Introduction
    • Where Did Augmented Reality Come from?
    • Augmented Reality
    • The Relationship between Augmented Reality and Other Technologies
    • Summary of Related Technologies
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Augmented Reality Concepts
    • Introduction
    • How Does Augmented Reality Work?
    • Concepts Related to Augmented Reality
    • Ingredients of an Augmented Reality Experience
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Augmented Reality Hardware
    • Introduction
    • Major Hardware Components for Augmented Reality Systems
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Augmented Reality Software
    • Introduction
    • Major Software Components for Augmented Reality Systems
    • Software Used to Create Content for the Augmented Reality Application
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Content Is Key!— Augmented Reality Content
    • Introduction
    • What Is Content?
    • Creating Visual Content
    • Creating Audio Content
    • Creating Content for Other Senses (Touch, Taste, Smell)
    • Representation and Perceptual Issues
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Interaction in Augmented Reality
    • Introduction
    • What Is Interaction?
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Mobile Augmented Reality
    • Introduction
    • What is Mobile Augmented Reality?
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Augmented Reality
    • Architectures for Mobile Augmented Reality Systems
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8. Augmented Reality Applications
    • Introduction
    • What Makes a Good Augmented Reality Application?
    • Application Areas
    • Collaborative Augmented Reality
    • Applying Augmented Reality to a Problem
    • Evaluating Augmented Reality Applications
    • Example Augmented Reality Applications
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9. The Future of Augmented Reality
    • Introduction
    • The Current State of Augmented Reality
    • Why Consider the Future?
    • Trends in Augmented Reality
    • Summary
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2013
5th June 2013
Morgan Kaufmann
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Alan Craig

Dr. Alan B. Craig is an independent consultant in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Visualization, and High Performance Computing. Prior to this role, he contributed much to these fields during his thirty-year career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and as Senior Associate Director for Human-Computer Interaction at the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS). Among his other consulting roles, he is currently engaged with the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). Dr. Craig has been called upon to speak as an expert in VR and AR at countless worldwide events and continues to speak at various venues. He has taught classes related to VR and AR online as well as onsite at universities, companies, and high school campuses. Dr. Craig has worked with government and industry entities regarding VR and AR applications. He has been interviewed by numerous publications, television, and news outlets. In addition to Understanding Virtual Reality (with William R. Sherman) he also authored Developing Virtual Reality Applications (with William R. Sherman and Jeffrey D. Will) and Understanding Augmented Reality. Additionally, he has written multiple book chapters and articles. He has developed many virtual reality and augmented reality applications in content areas ranging from archaeology to zoology. He also teaches and advises on related topics. His primary focus has been on the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in educational applications and his work centers on the continuum between the physical and the digital. He holds three patents.

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent Consultant, Inventor, Musician, Author, Scientist, Teacher


"…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.", September 2013

Ratings and Reviews