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Augmented Reality and Its Place in Copyright Terms

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Augmented reality, also known as augmented virtual reality, is an experience of an actual physical environment in which the virtual objects that exist in the virtual world are improved by computer-created visual information, either across several sensory mediums, such as visual, audio, haptic, olfactory and somatic. For example, when you are driving your car and notice some potholes on the road ahead, you will be able to use your GPS (Global Positioning System) to view the same on the road at your destination, although without physically going over the same spot. The same technological advancement can be applied in the medical field.

For example, if you go to a doctor’s office and take a picture of his face, the computer will help him to perfect his expression so that you look exactly like him while taking your picture. If you are having trouble locating a certain object in your home, you can take a virtual tour of your entire home by using an arched screen or a device. Augmented reality uses digital information from the Internet, coupled with user data, to create a realistic version of an environment. These days, augmented reality can be applied not only to video games and 3D animation but to real objects and scenes in our daily lives. Medical experts believe that in the future, armband controls, heart monitors, artificially intelligent robots, and even artificial intelligent computers may all have artificial intelligence.

So, how is augmented reality used in today’s world? Medical researchers have already conducted many trials with armband controls to help patients with diabetes control their blood glucose levels. In another application, a surgeon might be able to program a virtual arm surgeon to perform certain operations in real-time. This type of technology could also be used to conduct surgery or detect heart conditions in real-time using a closed-circuit television camera. Even for businesses, augmented reality can be useful because it lets workers see not only a virtual image of a product or location on a computer screen, but the exact item being shown.

Augmented reality applications in business also have a wide variety of uses. For example, companies could use the technology to provide their employees with training in real-time, as well as conducting demonstrations in real-time of their newest products. Companies could also make their websites more engaging and visually interesting to draw visitors and retain them on their websites longer, which, in turn, could lead to more sales.

As with all technologies, some potential regulations and laws must be observed when implementing augmented reality into business or marketing practices. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, some guidelines must be followed if phones or other electronic devices are to be used to record copyrighted material. For instance, if one’s aim is to record a copyrighted work for commercial purposes, it must be done through a digital recording device with a built-in camera, not by pointing a camera phone at the work area or using hand-held cameras or “stereo cameras” to take random shots. Additionally, when one is trying to obtain copyright protection for a live performance (such as a concert or TV show), it is not a wise idea to record or reproduce (for either public or private consumption) the audio portion of the performance, unless the recording is for a purpose that is clearly defined as being for personal consumption.

However, it is not just businesses that may wish to implement augmented reality. Google recently purchased a mapping company called Uxbridge, and now it is working on its own smartphone application called Google Wave. What is great about this acquisition is that it allows Google to not only get in more creative shapes but also to apply those forms to other areas, such as music. As with any new emerging application, we will likely see augmented reality evolve from being something cool and fun for techies to something that everyone can use. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think about it.

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