What is augmented reality (AR)?
Augmented reality is what it sounds like: reality, enhanced with interactive digital components. The most commonly used AR applications these days rely on smartphones to showcase the digitally augmented world: users can activate a smartphone's camera, view the real world around them on the screen, and rely on an AR application to enhance that world in any number of ways via digital overlays:
- Superimposing images, digital information and/or 3D models
- Adding real-time directions
- Inserting labels
- Changing colors
- Altering the user or their environment's appearance via "filters" on Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps
Various devices can display AR, and the list is only growing: screens, glasses, handheld and mobile devices, and head-mounted displays.
In understanding what AR is, it's also important to understand what it is not.
AR is not
a fully immersive experience like virtual reality (VR). While virtual reality requires users to don a special headset and pulls them into a completely digital world, AR lets them continue interacting with the physical world around them. Common Augmented Reality Use Cases
So what is augmented reality used for these days? A lot more than helping people track down pocket monsters. In fact, in 2020, nearly every industry has found ways to apply AR technology to improve processes and outcomes. Common uses include…