With augmented reality, it is possible to provide a great deal of information in addition to ordinary seeing and hearing. Let's say you are driving a car along the road and you have added your destination to your car’s GPS system. When passing the traffic signs along the road, the car displays on the windshield the limits that are currently in force - for example, the speed limit. If you want to outdrive the car in front of you, when you get close enough to it, a dot appears on the windshield of your car, showing the direction, location, speed and distance of the car coming from the opposite direction. This augmented information will enable you to safely drive past the car driving in front of you.
In this example, there are several different kinds of information that the on-board computer of the car registered and showed to the user as needed. This is an example of a good use of augmented reality - the user's reality was improved, as virtual information was added to it. The real world was never replaced with the virtual one. In the case of the car coming from the opposite direction, there was no virtual road drawn on the windshield of the user. When passing the traffic sign, no video was shown about proper traffic behaviour, but rather the virtual information was brought to complement the real world, not to replace it. This is also the concept on which augmented reality rests - virtual knowledge is brought to the real world. By following this principle, it is easy to create and manage augmented reality content.
In previous modules, we looked at how different hardware can be used to deliver content. But how does one choose the right content? Most augmented reality applications combine multiple media. In order to better understand combinations, we first need to understand how to create relevant content. The content that can be displayed with augmented reality can be divided into several content types, such as text, images, audio, video etc. The different types will be covered in detail below.