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September 5, 2022

How is computer vision used for virtual and augmented reality?

September 5, 2022

What is computer vision?

Computer vision is the branch of artificial intelligence which gives computers the capacity to draw meaningful information from digital images and videos, and in addition, act or make recommendations on that basis.

Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a make-believe version (augmented) of the physical world that is enabled through the patronage of sensory stimuli such as sound and or digital visual elements. It uses such devices as smart glasses, smartphones, and tablets.

Elements of augmented reality

A combination of real and virtual worlds

In creating the simulated environment and visualisations through the co-existence of physical and digital objects these objects are added as overlays. Virtual images or objects are inserted into real scenes. The user is enabled to visually search by simply pointing his camera at them.

Real-time interaction

There are computer-generated inputs which enhance the physical world of its user. They include GPS settings, videos and sounds. They are infused into the digital content in real-time in a way that responds to the user's movements and environment on the go.

Accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects

Registration is the correct alignment of the virtual with the real world. There is a fusion of your camera captured images with those which are computer generated. 

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality is a digital Technology that creates a simulated environment through sight and sound.Virtual reality is presented in a way that makes it real to the user.

The 3 I's of Virtual Reality


The three-dimensional (3D) environment is responsive to the gestures, movements and verbal commands of the user.The environment is manipulated to transition from passive to active participation in real time. Business is used to track the needs of a customer and what drives his or her buying decisions


With the use of virtual reality headsets, such as Sony PlayStation and HTC Vive, which are embedded with speakers and in-built cameras, users are taken into or "immersed" in another world. It affects the user's physical senses depending on the system's quality.


Virtual reality is structured in a way that seems very real to the user who is unable to perceive non-existent things in a way that seems real to life. It is used by businesses and organisations to tell stories as well as influence the emotions of their targeted audience.

The application of computer vision in virtual and augmented reality 

Augmented reality

Computer aids in the detection of objects in GPS settings. While the GPS navigation may give the wrong locations of objects, computer vision helps correct this imprecision.

Computer vision has decrypted videos and images for a variety of apps such as character recognition. And through that devices which are augmented reality enabled have the capacity to build their artificial environments, which are in the long run coupled with the physical environment.

Computer vision aids computers in the observation, processing, evaluation and comprehension of digital images and videos.

Augmented reality is supported by computer Vision with robust vision capacities such as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). SLAM helps create environmental 3DS, while tracking the camera's position and its location. In addition, SLAM estimates an image sensor position while moulding the environment to build maps.

Virtual reality

With the use of cameras and sensors, computer vision helps virtual reality to analyse a user's environment and detect the location of the headset.

With the use of cameras and sensors computer vision helps virtual reality to analyse a user's environment and detect the location of its headset. 

Within the healthcare systems computer vision helps surgeons to precisely place surgical incisions. It is also effective in the mental health system, for the  treatment of post-traumatic stress as well as depression and anxiety

In the fashion industry especially for online stores computer vision helps shoppers to virtually try on clothes they would want to purchase.

It has improved user experience in the gaming industry and increased their sales.

Benefits of computer Vision

Cost reduction

Computer vision helps to quickly identify a floor in a service or a product. When a computer receives a product sample image it is through computer vision that it is able to easily detect or trace any floor by eliminating a snowball effect.Manual labour is easily channelled to other areas.

Biometric authentication

Computer vision recognises people's unique features such as the face or the fingerprint. It is used to protect phone privacy for example. It is also used in the transport and banking sector among others as a security measure.

Detection of fake videos and images

Fake news is hardly detected by human effort.  Computer vision is able to quickly detect which videos or images have been doctored or manipulated for public deception.

Law enforcement and defence

It is used by security and intelligence agencies to identify hazardous objects and weapons of mass destruction in vast areas.

Automated vehicles

It helps automated vehicles to navigate their way in traffic and also helps them to notice when there is danger or an obstacle on their way.

Challenges of computer Vision

Weak model development planning

Business owners are sometimes over ambitious with targets and therefore deploy big machine learning models for the system. This usually results in the inability of the data Science team to properly meet business objectives, costs and performance accuracy.

Lack of quality training data

Due to privacy and confidential issues within the health sector sensitive information is not easily given out. Healthcare workers are also not authorised to give out sensitive data.

Poor quality of data

Low quality of data in certain sectors can cause severe damages. For example some tools for COVID testing were reported not to have been accurate in their results.

Best use case of Computer Vision

Automated vehicles

Computer vision works in diverse ways for automated vehicles.

Computer vision is the window to the soul of an automated vehicle. Automated vehicles have 3D cameras which capture images in real time. Through these vehicles are able to discern the right amount of space for safe driving as well as discover alternate routes when there is pending danger.

With its enabled capacity to detect danger ahead, airbags are quickly deployed in autonomous vehicles to cushion the driver and passengers in case of a crash.

Bounding boxes are enabled by computer vision to detect if a particular car is the same as one which has been identified.  It is used for behavioral pattern prediction of drivers.

Computer vision aids autonomous vehicles to stay within their designated Lanes when self-driving.  It is also able to detect the curves and turns of rules to ensure safety at the maximum level.

Autonomous vehicles shuffle between normal and low light mode. The latter usually produces blurry images which make driving unsafe. Computer vision adjusts such situations with the use of sensors.

Computer vision uses images captured on automated vehicle cameras to check traffic signals. It in addition helps in classifying and identifying different objects on the road. Computer vision helps automated cars to capture data on location, road and traffic conditions as well as area population for situational awareness during driving.

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