Augmented reality mixes the real and the virtual world together, so that a computerized device with a webcam can bring digital content to life with amazing 3D animations.
Hardware currently required to enjoy AR applications includes the following: 1) a processor (such as those found in computers and smartphones); 2) displays (such as phone or computer screens, projectors, video glasses, head-mounted displays, or contact lense implants); 3) sensors (such as accelerometers, GPS, solid state compasses, gyroscopes, optical sensors, RFID, and wireless sensors); and 4) input devices (such as webcams, wands, pinch gloves and hand gestures).
Between 1957 and 1962, cinematographer Morton Heilig created and patented Sensorama, which simulated visuals, sounds, vibrations and smells.
In 1976, David W. Crain, conceived and demonstrated the "1st & Ten" computer system that generates and displays a yellow first down line on a live TV broadcast.
In 1990, Boeing employee Tom Caudell coined the phrase "augmented reality" in an effort to help workers better assemble aircraft.
In 1992, Steven Feiner, Blair MacIntyre, and Doree Seligmann presented the first major conference paper on an AR prototype known as KARMA. The widely-cite paper appeared in a 1993 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Between 1995 and 1998, various sports broadcasters introduce the first down software to their football broadcasts.
In November 1998, the 1st International Workshop on Augmented Reality (IWAR'98) was held in San Francisco, California.
In the early 2000s, many gaming and adverting companies experimented with AR applications.
In 2002, Steven Spielberg directed the movie Minority Report, a neo-noir sci-fi movie based loosely on Phillip B. Dick's short story, thus introducing AR technologies to a large audience.
In 2008, book artist Camille Scherrer developed an AR-enhanced book called Souvenirs du Monde des Montagnes, a fairytale built around an archive of family photos from 1910-1930, with animations that dance across the pages and then off the book into its surroundings.
In 2009, Sagoosha ported its ARToolkit to Adobe Flash (FLARTookit), thus bringing AR to the web browser.
in 2010, Hallmark introduced augmented reality Christmas cards.
In 2011, Carlton Books published and marketed a variety of AR-enhanced children's books.