What is Augmented Reality (AR) And How it Works

With the advent of Pokemon Go, Snapchat filters and Facebook Direct, Augmented Reality has become the new hot topic of the masses. This next-gen technology not only lets you have a superb viewing experience but also lets to immerse yourself in the digital world, yet being totally aware of your surroundings.

Augmented Reality

Surely, it’s amusing to see the bunny nose on top of your nose or chasing a Pikachu down the local alley, but have you wondered how this technology works?

So, today we will be diving deep into the world of technology and see what is Augmented Reality (AR) and how it works.

Also See: Enter the Matrix: Comparing Virtual And Augmented Reality

What is Augmеntеd Rеality?

The much popular Augmented Reality (or AR) is the process of superimposing digitally rendered images onto our real-world surroundings, giving a sense of an illusion or virtual reality. Apart from Pokemon Go, the much popular example is the IKEA app for iPhone.

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All you have to do is to place your camera in front of the spot where you would like to place the furniture. The app shows you the overlay of the virtual furniture in your living room through the phone camera so that you get a rough idea of how your room will look after the makeover.

How Augmеnt Rеality Works

The technology works differently in different scenarios. As far as the smartphone is concerned, the camera is essentially the primary element apart from the mobile app. The app analyzes the marker and creates a virtual image overlay on the phone screen, tied to the position of the camera.

The app works in sync with the camera to work out different angles as well as the distance between the camera and marker.

Due to the complex mechanism of rendering an image over the marker, only a few smartphones are capable of supporting AR. And yeah, along with the complexity, a good connection to cellular data is also an important requirement.

Currеnt Usеs of Augmеntеd Rеality

1. Augmеntеd Rеality in Mеdicinе

AR in medical has advanced many folds in the recent years and have benefited many patients. Apps — both great and small — have played their part well in this game.

What Is Augmented Reality Ar And How It Works

Out of the many, a handheld scanner called AccuVein is used to identify vein under patient’s skin for IV injections. And if we talk numbers, this has been proved to identify veins almost 3.5 times faster and quicker.

2. Augmеntеd Rеality in Еntеrtainmеnt

By far, the entertainment industry has been the major flag-bearer of AR and has become a huge driving force for it.

AR is typically used in the personal entertainment devices like phones, game consoles, arcades or music players to provide rich visual experience along with the entertainment.

However, it is the video gaming industry which is seeing the AR implementation in its full capacity.

3. Augmеntеd Rеality in Еducation

And apart from entertainment, it’s also increasingly used in the education world to help students interact more with their work. Not only it lets them have a better understanding of things but it also enthuses a fun element.

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Augmented Reality can be used to help students visualize different ideas such as the solar system, constellations, and our own galaxy. Sky Map one of the great examples how it can be used to take the constellation class to the next level.

Just the thought of seeing our galaxy in 3D amazes us, imagine how that would spark the creativity in a little one’s mind when they see it in AR.

4. Social Media

And how can we escape the onslaught of AR in social media? The concept of bringing AR into social media by applying animations to user’s face was popularized by none other than Snapchat.


Over the years, Facebook and Instagram have followed suit with the introduction of similar technologies. And the day isn’t far when these will be available in WhatsApp too — as we’ve witnessed with other popular features.

Thе Futurе of Augmеntеd Rеality

Augmented Reality is still a work in progress and there has been continuous progress in this field, the popular ones being the Oculus VR sets or the Windows 10 VR headsets.

Aforesaid, it’s still a work in progress and there’s a lot that can be done with this technology in the future. Below are few of the fields where this can be a huge draw.

1. Gеolocation Sеrvicеs

AR can be widely used in Geolocation services and also for real-time display of enhanced maps.

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Source: Francis Storr

It can act as a GPS and suggest useful information to the user such as eating places, stores or reviews on those stores.

2. Onlinе Rеtail Storеs and Markеting

Digital marketing of products is no longer a myth but has become a reality. Using AR, customers can engage with products on-the-go or right from the scene of action.

In conclusion, it can be said that Augmented reality is the perfect bridge between the real physical world and the digital world. I really wish that the day isn’t far when we will be using a holographic display to check for traffic updates or the morning news.

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Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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