Assignment #2: Imagining the world with Augmented Reality - Initial thoughts on the technology

Screenshot of an AR astronaut rendered on top of its image target using Vuforia and Unity

Screenshot of an AR astronaut rendered on top of its image target using Vuforia and Unity

This week we looked at how to use Unity and Vuforia to render any virtual object in an augmented reality scene. Vuforia makes it very easy to have a simple AR scene ready in a few clicks! For instance, to render an astronaut in the above picture, this is all I did:

  1. Add Vuforia support to your Unity project
  2. Add an AR Camera to your scene
  3. Add an image target which will be used as reference for placing the virtual astronaut
  4. Add the astronaut object inside the image target object
  5. Play the scene, point the webcam towards the printed image of my image target and voila! — the astronaut appears on top of the printed image target!

Sure, my astronaut does nothing but stare in one direction! But imagine how powerful this technology can be! By just pointing your smartphone camera towards a real-world object, you can have a window to a virtual world, which is analogous to interdimensional travel. Not too far in the future, you will be able to just wear a pair of AR glasses which will grant you the power to see and interact with objects that otherwise don’t exist in your world.

The application of Augmented Reality can be far-reaching. In the field of education, this technology can bring a revolution. While reading a story book, a virtual scene mimicking the events of the story can be played out as and when the user reads the story. Science textbooks can play out animations to aid students in understanding concepts that are otherwise too involved. Likewise, mathematics can be augmented with animations and 3D graphs that can help strengthen the student’s intuition.

Video conferencing will be replaced by virtual holograms of people, who can all see, hear and interact with each other as if they were all present in the same room, opening the door to more effective collaboration. Similarly, members of teams, spread all across the world, will be able to work together by bridging the gaps of misunderstandings and miscommunication which usually occur when teams are working together on a project from multiple locations.

The landscape of marketing and advertising will witness another revolution — bigger than the one that was brought upon by the advent of internet1. Consumer products will market themselves by means of virtual objects trying to woo the consumer to buy the product, and possibly dissuade him from purchasing the one from its competitor.

In conclusion, we are steps away from a future that will be completely different than the world we live in now! I can’t wait to contribute and help in realizing that future.


The assets used in the sample project were taken from the Vuforia Core Samples pack, which can be downloaded from the Unity Asset Store using this link:

  1. This is Professor Johnson’s idea, as discussed during his lecture.