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Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide -- New from Pragmatic Bookshelf: Learn How to Fuse Real & Virtual Reality

January 29, 2008

Augmented Reality is the fusion of real and virtual reality, where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real-time. AR creates the illusion that virtual, computer-generated objects exist in the real world.

The possibilities are endless: data visualization, immersive environments, and, of course, gaming. Pragmatic Bookshelf's newest release, Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide ($34.95) will show you how, and teach you about game development at the same time. You can run the included demos, or use the ARTag API to customize your own AR applications.

Co-author Stephen Cawood explains, ?Augmented Reality is a natural way to explore 3D objects and data, as it brings virtual objects into the real world where we live, rather than forcing us to learn how to navigate inside the computer.?

AR uses video-see-through technology, using handheld devices such as tablet PC?s, PDA?s, or camera cell phones, or in many cases just a webcam and your standard computer monitor. You hold the device up and ?see through? the display to view both the real world and the superimposed virtual object. You can move around and see the virtual object, model, animation, or game from different views as the AR system performs alignment of the real and virtual cameras automatically.

This book introduces you to Augmented Reality (AR), provides detailed explanations of how the technology works, and provides samples for you to try on your own. Code samples using the freely downloadable ARTag software SDK in C++ and C# are included; all you need is a computer, printer, and a webcam.

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Stephen Cawood is a former employee of Microsoft Corporation. Since leaving Microsoft, he has been writing full-time and has worked on a number of titles including The Unauthorized Halo 2 Battle Guide, Halo 2 Hacks (O'Reilly), and The Black Art of Halo Mods.

Mark Fiala is a computer vision researcher who has worked both in the academic world in computer vision and in industry doing electrical engineering. Mark grew up as a robotics hobbyist and pursued computer vision to make "eyes for robots." However, he later discovered other uses for computer vision. Mark studied electrical and computer vision in Canada and took part in several startup companies in varied areas of telecom and panoramic imaging before working for four years in the Computational Video Group of Canada's National Research Council. At the NRC, he applied computer vision to other areas including Augmented Reality.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly/catalog/9781934356036

Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide
Stephen Cawood, Mark Fiala
ISBN: 1-934356-03-4, 300 pages, $34.95 USD, ?21.99 GBP

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The Pragmatic Bookshelf features books written by developers for developers. The titles continue the well-known Pragmatic Programmer style, and continue to garner awards and rave reviews. As development gets more and more difficult, the Pragmatic Programmers will be there with more titles and products to help programmers stay on top of their game.

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