This is our most desperate hour," said the flickering blue image. "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." In 1977, in a classic moment in cinematic history, the Star Wars movie epic gave the public a preview of augmented reality (AR).
But it was only a preview. The three-dimensional (3D) hologram of Princess Leia standing on a real table had been simulated by special effects artists at Lucasfilm, but it was easy to imagine a day when consumers could bring actual 3D virtual images seamlessly into their physical environments and interact with them in real time. That is now possible in a variety of consumer, medical, and industrial applications, generally through the use of head-mounted displays (HMDs).
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