What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a view of the physical real-world environment augmented by computer generated input such as: information, sound, graphics or GPS data,

The most common use of augmented reality (AR) is mobile apps, of these Pokemon Go is the most well-known.  AR apps are designed for fun, use in education or to simplify tasks.  There are apps for shopping, to find a car in a parking lot and at least one app to view how a tattoo will look on an arm, leg or whatever.

Rapid Imaging Software's (RIS) application of AR is different.  Since 1995, we have produced technology to add AR overlays of map and other data on video.  Video from manned and unmanned aircraft lacks crucial Information to identify locations and structures. RIS augmented reality technology solves this problem and works with live or recorded video. Overlays include; streets, borders, landmark icons or points of interest and much more as shown in the gallery.

AR Overlays

In the past RIS technology worked only with large systems such as manned ISR and tactical unmanned aircraft. Due to recent advancements in technology AR on video from small drones is now possible.

What is the Value of Augmented Reality Enriched Video?

A person viewing AR enriched video has the ability to instantly understand where the camera is looking .  The information is specific; street names and icons for landmarks.  This is helpful when a camera is mounted on an aircraft. The sensor may be looking opposite to or at angle to the direction of travel.  It may not sound like a big time saver, but consider the time required to call, text or attempt to look up the location on the internet.

The advantage of AR is amplified when a group of users have access to AR enriched video via a shared network.  The location of structures in the view are immediately recognizable and everyone knows where the camera is pointed. This information speeds up decision making and distribution of resources for many practical applications.


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Photos from the early days of augmented reality.