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What Is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented reality (AR) is an improved version of the real physical environment created by the use of digital visual elements, music, or other sensory stimulation given via technology. It is a developing trend among organizations interested in mobile computing and commercial apps in particular.

With the rise of data collecting and analysis, one of the key goals of augmented reality is to emphasize certain elements of the physical environment, increase understanding of those features, and extract useful and accessible insight that can be used in real-world applications. Big data can help businesses make better decisions and acquire insight into consumer purchasing habits, among other things.

Recognising Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is evolving and becoming increasingly prevalent in a variety of applications. Marketers and technology companies have struggled to fight the impression that augmented reality is nothing more than a marketing tool since its inception. However, there is evidence that consumers are starting to get concrete benefits from this technology and want it to be a part of their shopping experience.

Wearable technologies, according to some experts, might be a game changer for augmented reality. Smartphones and tablets only show a small piece of the user’s environment, but smart eyewear, for example, may enable a more full link between the real and virtual worlds if it evolves sufficiently to become widely available.

Augmented Reality Examples

Some early adopters in the retail sector have developed AR technology to improve the shopping experience for consumers. Augmented reality has been integrated into store catalog apps, allowing customers to see how different things would appear in different settings. When purchasing furniture, for example, shoppers point the camera to the proper room, and the goods appear in the foreground.

The benefits of augmented reality can also be extended to the healthcare industry, where it can play a considerably larger role. When a user hovers their mobile device over a target image, AR apps display highly detailed 3D renderings of various body systems. AR has evolved into a strong learning tool for medical practitioners.

Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

Because augmented reality and virtual reality are sometimes confused, let us clarify. Augmented reality enhances the experience by overlaying virtual information—or even a virtual world—on top of the current real-world surroundings. Consider Pokémon Go, in which users search their real-life neighborhoods for animated figures that appear on their phone or tablet. AR technology is used by NFL broadcasters to better analyse plays.

Virtual reality, on the other hand, immerses people in an altogether another environment, often one developed and rendered by computers. Users of virtual reality, for example, may be immersed in an animated scene or a digital world. Virtual reality can also be used to photograph and insert a real-world location and embed it in a VR app. Someone wearing a virtual reality headset can wander across Italy as if they were there in person.

Examples of augmented reality

AR examples include the following:

App to be targeted. 

See It in Your Room, a Target retail app feature, allows users to snap a photo of a room in their house and digitally examine an object, such as a picture on the wall or a chair, to see how it will look there.

Apple Measure is a measurement app. 

The Measure app for Apple iOS functions similarly to a tape measure, allowing users to select two or more points in their environment and measure the distance between them.


Snapchat filters use augmented reality to apply a filter or mask on the user’s Snap or picture.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is a video game. Pokemon Go is a famous smartphone augmented reality game that uses the player’s GPS to detect where Pokemon animals emerge in the user’s surroundings for them to catch.

Glass by Google

Google Glass is the company’s first commercial attempt at a glasses-based augmented reality system. Users can operate hands-free with this little wearable computer. Companies like DHL and DB Schenker employ Google Glass and third-party technologies to make frontline workers more effective in global supply chain logistics and customized shipping. Google is also developing another set of glasses for 2022 that will overlay a live transcription or translation of what someone else says in the text. The United States Army. The United States Army employs augmented reality in an eyepiece known as Tactical Augmented Reality. TAR attaches to the soldier’s helmet and assists in locating the position of another soldier.

AR Technology’s Future

As the popularity and familiarity of apps and games like Pokemon Go or retail store AR apps grow, so does AR technology. The advent of 5G networks, for example, may make it easier to enable cloud-based augmented reality experiences by offering better data speeds and lower latency to AR applications. ARKit, Apple’s open-source mobile augmented reality development toolset, is still being developed and updated. ARKit is used by companies like Target and Ikea in their flagship AR shopping apps for the iPhone and iPad. ARKit 6 allows users to create augmented reality in 4K high-dynamic range, or HDR and increases image and video capturing. ARKit 6 also contains a Depth API, which uses per-pixel depth information to allow a device’s camera to comprehend the size and shape of an object, as well as scene geometry, which produces a topological map of a location, and other enhancements.