Archive for May, 2011


I am a gizmo lover so I can’t resist myself to talk on the very interesting topic Augmented Reality. In a busy life we don’t have a much time to see the real world. We are always looking for a virtual way that simulates the real world for us. Virtual reality involves the creation of a computer-generated world that a person can interact with in such a way that he or she believes that the virtual world is real. Usually this is achieved when the wearing of a helmet, courts the senses to immerse the user.

Augmented reality, however, is a meeting of virtual reality and real life, as a computer image melds with real-life images to create a composite for the user to interact with. The ultimate goal of augmented reality is the user’s inability to distinguish the fabricated from the real. While the two concepts are related as far as immersing the user. Where virtual reality completely isolates the user from the real world and augmented reality requires a user to continue to be in touch with the surrounding world. The term virtual reality applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds. This is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound. Virtual world become more real if we provide more senses to it.

An interactive computer-generated world has been a popular idea not only in fiction, but in practical application best seen in flight simulators and video games. Augmented reality (AR) can be defined as referring to cases in which an otherwise real environment is "augmented" by means of virtual objects. Augmentation can be achieved with various different techniques. Augmentation is done in order to enhance the users surrounding environment in real-time in respect to some function or purpose. Computer generated part of the environment makes AR a very close cousin to the concept of virtual reality. The bulk of augmented reality concerns combining real and virtual visual information, although the concept of AR also covers imposing audio and other enhancements over environment in real-time. Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality in the sense that both make use of computer generated virtual data. Virtual reality tries to generate a complete environment, simulated or completely synthetic, that surrounds or immerses the subject.

Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in that it does not try to block the surrounding real environment from user. Instead its purpose is to enhance the environment for some specific purpose. Virtual reality environments usually block user completely from the real world and replace natural sensory information with computer generated signals. Deepness of user experience is called immersion. With no distracting real world signals a total immersion is fairly easy to achieve. Augmented reality is a mixture of real environment, that the user senses either directly or through the systems pipeline, and virtual environment. The virtual environment can in turn represent either real world objects or virtual objects. Ultimate goal of AR is to blend all parts seamlessly together so that the user is made to believe that the whole environment is real. In other words, there shouldn’t be any conflicts and discrepancies between the augmented environment and the rules by which the user normally senses the real world. However, because of the half real and half unreal nature of AR, there are always some distracting features, such as the time-lag between user actions and systems reactions, misplaced or disoriented virtual objects due to tracking errors, and abnormalities in the object-interactions, which tend to diminish the immersiveness of the system. The real time requirements of augmented reality are even stricter than those of typical virtual reality applications.

In the left end of the reality-virtuality continuum is the real environment. A completely immersive virtual environment is in the other end. Augmented reality is near the real environment end, as it consists of some synthetic elements that overlap the actual real environment. In the left end of the reality-virtuality continuum is the real environment. A completely immersive virtual environment is in the other end. Augmented reality is near the real environment end, as it consists of some synthetic elements that overlap the actual real environment.

The Augmented reality is also called as “Window on the World” system (WoW). The user observes the augmented environment through a “window” such as a computer monitor or any visual apparatus. Hollywood sci-fic movies are always inspiring us to think on new invention. Have you seen the most popular movie “Iron Man”. In this movie lead character Tony stark wear a high tech helmet. This helmet has a powerful vision capacity to analyse the things. Tony Stark controls his Iron Man suit using a heads-up display inside his helmet. This is a very good example of Augmented Reality. Apart from Iron Man there are so many other movie is also a very good example of AR like “Terminator 3”, “Fight Club”, “Minority Report” etc.

Augmented Reality enhances a user’s perception of and interaction with the real world. The virtual objects display information that the user cannot directly detect with his own senses. The information conveyed by the virtual objects helps a user perform real-world tasks. The goal of augmented reality is to add information and meaning to a real object or place. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulation of reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space as the foundation and incorporates technologies that add contextual data to deepen a person’s understanding of the subject.

If virtual reality is a complete immersion in a digital world, augmented reality (AR) is more a digital overlay onto the real world. It enhances the real world with digital data, and therefore it is much more interesting than a completely fabricated environment. As a user, Augmented Reality apps merge the virtual with reality – or the augmented data and objects with real life experiences.

Conclusion and Current State of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has a problem in convincing the user. Computer-generated images must appear photo-realistic in order to seamlessly integrate with the real world images. However, augmented reality also faces another problem: because the computer augmentation needs to occur in real time, the composite image would need to be constantly accurate, as any lag or inaccuracy will disrupt the experience.

Augmented reality is an old idea that is right now on the verge of success. This is due to the fact that until lately there have not been advanced enough technologies to make feasible AR applications.


FluidHTML is a new markup language that greatly expands the application of rich media on the web. Rich Internet Applications are growing rapidly and globally. Yet the most common rich media languages are hard to learn and use and are not search engine indexable.

FHTML, Inc., was founded in March of 2009 to tackle this problem and to significantly simplify and empower development of rich media websites, content and applications for the web. FluidHtml, The Company’s product, is a new markup language that dynamically generates Flash content. Structured like HTML, FluidHtml allows any web developer to dynamically generate Rich Media sites and applications and is compatible with all major browsers. FluidHtml solves the Flash search problem by exposing the markup text to search engines. Now web publishers can combine the human appeal of rich media with all the business benefits of the web.

fluidHTML

FluidHtml has several additional important benefits. It runs in Flash, which is ubiquitous and which is consistent across all browsers. FluidHtml integrates seamlessly with server-side web technologies such as Java, .NET and PHP. And it includes a liquid layout engine with significantly more flexibility than CSS. FluidHtml markup is interpreted client-side using FHTML rendering engine. FHTML markup language is easily combined with HTML page and render on Flash based FHTML rendering engine.

flow

Benefits of FluidHTML

The use of rich media, interactive web applications, and web animations are growing dramatically, and consumer expectations of their web experience with your company are rising as a result. Historically, committing to rich website development meant using Flash, but this has significant problems for CIOs that FluidHtml solves. The main ones are these:

  • Learning curve for HTML web developer is very low
    FluidHtml is a markup language that is rendered in Flash dynamically with HTML-equivalent syntax. So, if we know HTML then we know FluidHtml. FluidHtml puts the power of Flash into the hands of your existing web developers because it follows HTML paradigms can easily be learned in a few weeks. By using our additional tags and properties, we can make applications, widgets and websites and we can mix FluidHtml and HTML on the same web page.
  • CSS3 Style Sheet Support
    Support for stylesheets in Flash is extremely limited. Typically, all style changes have to be done in ActionScript and cannot be shared with the styles on our website. FluidHtml has comprehensive stylesheet support, so now our dynamically-generated Flash applications can be styled and restyled easily. In version 2.0 of FluidHtml, our stylesheets are CSS3 compatible. So, the styles we use for HTML pages can also be used in FluidHtml to create Flash animations and layouts.
  • Liquid Layout and Data Binding
    FluidHtml supports liquid layout. This means objects can be positioned and resized relative to each other in various ways, rather than just in absolute position. Your application can easily adapt to different screens like desktop or mobile. And also support extensive Data Binding feature for components.
  • Developer friendly development approach
    No one today would code a large website in Flash because it was never built for this purpose. Flash is compiled, so each page of your site is essentially a compiled application. This isn’t true of HTML which can be dynamically generated on the server. Since FluidHtml is just markup on the page, it works like HTML. With FluidHtml you can generate Flash pages dynamically just as you do HTML.
  • Inherently Search Engine Compatible
    Flash has a difficult time with SEO. Because Flash is compiled, the search engines can’t index these binary objects. Adobe is working on making this better, but there is a natural limit to what can be done. However, FluidHtml is just markup, so it can be indexed by the search engines just like HTML. This means you can develop in FluidHtml and get all the benefits of Flash without sacrificing search engine indexability.

The upshot of all this is that with FluidHtml, your enterprise can enjoy all of the benefits of rich web deployment while dramatically reducing the total cost of development and maintenance over conventional rich media tools like Flash and Flex. And while Html5 is promising, it isn’t ready. And even when it is ready, it won’t necessarily be the right solution for multiple categories of applications

Technical specification

Programming Language: Tag based markup language FHTML+HTML. For interactivity we can use javascript and actionscript that is interpreted in Flash based FHTML interpreter.
Styling: For styling CSS2.0 and CSS3.0 (in FluidHTML v2.0)
Runtime: Flash Player 10 and above

FluidHTML Technical and Commercial Advantage
Sr. No. Advantage Parameter FHTML Advantages over HTML/FLASH
1 Technical Easy to create rich media websites, content and applications (RIAs, for short). Everyone that can code HTML should be able to build RIAs.
2 Technical Search engine optimization is available in FHTML.
3 Technical FHTML code does not need to be compiled like Flex, Silverlight and Flash.
4 Technical Learning curve for HTML developers is quick and easy.
5 Technical Text/colors/layout cans easily changes without compilation.
6 Technical FHTML content also renders on Apple product through HTML5 with inbuilt fallback mechanism after device and environment detection.
7 Commercial Reduces total cost of ownership for a business i.e. not require purchasing Flash IDE license.

 

References

Official Web page: http://www.fluidhtml.com/
About FHTML Inc.: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/fluidhtml
FAQ Page: http://www.fluidhtml.com/help/
Sotheby’s eCatalogue tool: http://www.sothebys.com/app/ecatalogue/fhtml