Open source Augmented Reality (AR) software refers to programs used to create or view various AR applications. The creation of AR assets often requires a number of different programs, including graphics software that can be used to make images. There are also open source augmented reality programs that can be used to make the code that is used in the creation of AR applications, once the raw assets are prepared. Other programs can then be used to view images and other assets created for AR, which can be fairly simple or include extensive server administration.
Augmented Reality or AR is an application in which a virtual asset, such as a still image or animated video, is created. This is encoded into a simple two-dimensional image that can be scanned by certain pieces of hardware, such as the camera of a smart phone. Once this code is scanned, certain pieces of software can then display the virtual asset over an image captured by the camera. For example, someone can print a code on a shirt, wear the shirt in front of a camera, and the resulting video captured would show the person in the shirt with the asset displayed over the code.
Some types of open source augmented reality software have been created to allow someone to create these assets and codes. Just about anything can be made and displayed through AR technology, so various open source programs can be used to make them. Graphics programs are typically used to create three-dimensional objects, in much the same way that graphics are generated for video games and film special effects.
Other open source augmented reality programs are then used to create the code that represents those assets. This is important, since this is the item that a camera or scanner needs to “view” in order for the asset to be displayed in an AR application. Different codes can be used by various types of software, so it is vital for someone working with open source augmented reality to use codes with compatible viewers.
Programs that can be used to view AR can also be created as open source augmented reality software. This typically needs to be installed on a computer or smart phone used to view AR assets. A single program can also handle many of these functions, though this is more common with commercial software.
There are even some open source augmented reality applications that use servers to host a wide range of assets. A program can be used to determine a person’s location through a phone, and then display AR assets that indicate nearby restaurants. This type of application would likely require extensive server architecture to function.