Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular.

In augmented reality, users see and interact with the real world while digital content is added. If this sounds unclear think of Pokemon Go-millions of people all over the world has been rushing with their smartphones in search of small virtual creatures. That's the most vivid example of augmented reality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Augmented reality (AR) involves overlaying visual, auditory, or other sensory information onto the real world to enhance one’s experience.

  • Retailers and other companies can use augmented reality to promote products or services, launch novel marketing campaigns, and collect unique user data.

  • Unlike virtual reality, which creates its own cyber environment, augmented reality adds to the existing world as it is.

How does it work?

  1. An AR-enabled device with a camera such as smart glasses, a tablet, or a smartphone parses a video feed to identify a physical object or the environment around the user, such as a piece of machinery or the layout of a warehouse.

  2. A digital twin – a 3D digital replica of the object in the cloud – connects the real and virtual environments. It collects information from the physical object and digital

  3. The augmented reality device then downloads information about the object from the cloud. It superimposes digital information over the object using markers or trackers like GPS, accelerometers, orientation and barometric sensors, and more. This creates a part-real, part-digital 3D interface.

  4. Thanks to real-time data flowing from products, the user can interact with the object or environment by moving around and sending commands to the cloud through a touchscreen, by voice, or with gestures.

Types of AR-

Marker-based AR:

This type of AR, also known as recognition-based AR or image recognition, relies on the identification of markers/user-defined images to function. Marker-based AR requires a marker to activate an augmentation. Maker-based AR works by scanning a marker which triggers an augmented experience.

Marker-less AR:

Marker-less AR offers the most control to the user as it allows the user to choose where they would like to place the content. It also allows real-life scale placement of virtual augmented objects. These AR experiences are highly reliant on smartphone features such as sensors, cameras, and processors.

It is then divided into--

Location-based AR


Superimposition-based AR:

The original item is replaced with an augmentation, fully or partially. The below example is allowing users to place a virtual furniture item over a room image with a scale on the IKEA Catalog app.

Benefits of AR-

Enhanced Experience: You can see buildings from different angles and determine where you are standing through enhanced maps and positioning. For example, when used for navigation purposes, perhaps one perspective shows pedestrians crossing while another looks down onto the street below with arrows showing which direction drivers should go next.

AR will be easy to use: For mobile phone users, augmented reality is really easy to use. Just point your camera at an object, and the app will show you what it does with that particular item. So, for example, if you wanted to know how many calories are in a slice of pizza, all you would have to do is find an image of one on your screen and watch as the number pops up right next to it.

Supports business activities: AR is speculated to transform every business from housing to the retail market as the customers would be able to get more of the benefits and invest accordingly. Augmented Reality helps you with construction projects. The technology allows workers to identify and fix damaged parts of a building, structure or facility.

Educational advantages of AR: The pros of augmented reality include its potential as an educational tool that can provide rich content. The data is based on accurate GPS coordinates and provides navigation and directions without relying on paper maps.

Improved technology: Augmented Reality is often used in the medical field for teaching methods and even surgery guidance. It has also been found that AR may help with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or ADHD by making it more fun and engaging than traditional methods.

Android AR apps-

IKEA place-- IKEA Place lets you virtually 'place' furnishings in your space. From sofas and lamps to rugs and tables, all of the products in IKEA Place are 3D and true to scale so you can make sure it's just the right size, design and functionality for your room.

Pokemon Go-- Pokemon Go is an Android and iOS AR app that allows you to mark your real-world location using your phone’s GPS and move your in-game avatar as your phone camera shows Pokemon in the real world. It can take photos next to Pokemon or capture or collect the Pokemon by throwing balls at them.

Modiface--ModiFace is an app on which you can use the smartphone to scan your face, then virtually, in real-time, apply the beauty product you target on your face as if you are wearing it. With ModiFace, you can simulate how your makeup, hair and skin product, and other kinds of beauty products will look on you.

uMake-- uMake is one of the best AR design tools or apps because it allows you to not only build product models using available objects but to also draw or sketch with a pencil.

Lens Studio-- The Lens Studio is a Windows AR studio platform for those who want to create AR experiences for Snapchat, for whatever reason – entertainment, business, or organizational needs.

If you own a modern smartphone, you can easily download an AR app and try this technology. There's a different way to experience augmented reality, though with special AR headsets, such as google Glass, where digital content is displayed on a tiny screen in front of a user's eye.


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