What is Augmented Reality? What are types of AR?

augmented reality, technology, artificial intelligence, futureishere

What is Augmented Reality?

The technology and process that allow the overlaying of real-world objects and environments with 3D virtual objects via an AR device, and allows the virtual objects to interact with the real-world objects to create an immersive experience are called augmented Reality (AR).

Unlike virtual reality, which attempts to recreate and replace an entire real-life environment with a virtual one, augmented reality is concerned with enriching a representation of the real world with computer-generated images and digital information. Within an AR content creation device, based on their geometrical relationship virtual 3D images are overlaid on real-world objects. The device must be capable of calculating the position and orientation of objects in relation to one another. The merged image is projected on mobile screens, AR glasses, etc.

In augmented reality, virtual data is overlayed on top of the already existing real-world surroundings, in order to improve the user experience. For example, consider Pokémon Go, where players look for animated characters that appear in their real-world surroundings on their phone or tablet. The main benefit of augmented reality is how elements of the digital world are integrated into how a person sees the actual world, not just as a display of data but also through the incorporation of immersive feelings that are seen as natural elements of a setting.

augmented reality, technology, artificial intelligence, futureishere
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Types of augmented reality

Marker-based AR

This technology uses a visual marker to activate the altered, interactive experience. Two-dimensional QR codes are the most commonly used markers. The camera on a device recognizes the machine-readable barcode and responds by producing visual effects. Marker-based AR has some limitations it has to be used only by mobile devices like smartphones or tablets and needs an app or software to experience the content.

Markerless AR

It is used in apps for events, business, and navigation, for example, where the technology uses location-based information to determine what content the user receives or finds in a given area. It may employ GPS, compasses, gyroscopes, and accelerometers similar to those found in mobile phones.

Below are 4 categories of markerless AR:

    Projection-based AR:

As the name implies, projection-based AR creates 3D imagery by projecting immersive light onto a flat surface. The system then employs SLAM to detect human interaction with the augmentation. For example, projection-based AR can be used to create holograms that can be used for business or for entertainment.

    Location-based AR:

The goal of location-based markerless AR is to fuse 3D virtual objects in the physical space where the user is located. Clearly, this technology makes use of a smart device’s location and sensors to position the virtual object at the desired location or point of interest.

    Overlay AR:

This AR replaces an object’s original view with an updated virtual image of that object for the human eye. Overlay AR displays multiple views of a target object as well as the ability to display additional relevant information about that object.

   Contour-based AR:

This technology, which employs special cameras, allows human eyes to outline specific objects with lines in order to facilitate certain situations. It can, for example, be used in car navigation systems to enable safe driving in low-light conditions.

Some stats about augmented reality

*The “AR Gaming Market” is expected to reach $284.9 billion by 2023. (orbisresearch)

*The global AR/VR Market has the potential to reach $94.4 Billion by 2023. (PRnewswire)

*In 2020, as many as 32% of users have used AR for shopping. (IBM)

Benefits of augmented reality

  • Your use case and application will determine whether you integrate or adopt. You could use it to monitor maintenance and production work, perform virtual walkthroughs of real estate property, advertise products, improve remote design, and so on.
  • AR markers on images of manufacturing equipment help project managers monitor work remotely in manufacturing. It eliminates the need for digital maps and plants. For example, a device or machine can be pointed at a location to see if it will fit.
  • Learners benefit from immersive real-life simulations in terms of pedagogy. According to researchers, simulations in game-based learning and training provide psychological benefits and increase empathy among learners.
  • Medical students can use AR and VR simulations to try out as many surgeries as possible without breaking the bank or causing unnecessary harm to patients, all while immersing themselves in immersive and near-real experiences.
  • Virtual fitting rooms can now help buyers make better purchasing decisions and reduce purchase returns.
  • Salespeople can create and publish exciting branded AR content, as well as insert ads in it, so that people can learn about their products while watching the content. AR increases engagement.

Examples of augmented reality

  • See it as in. Most e-commerce app features called for eg., view in your room to enable users to take a photo of a space in their home and digitally view an object, For eg., a chair in an app can be viewed, to see how it will look in the living room.
  • Snapchat. Snapchat or Instagram filters use AR to overlay a filter or a mask over the user’s Snap or picture.
  • Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a popular mobile AR game that uses the player’s GPS to detect where Pokemon creatures appear in the user’s surrounding environment for them to catch. This was one of the most popular games using AR.

Virtual reality vs Augmented reality vs Mixed reality

augmented reality, technology, artificial intelligence, futureishere

Augmented reality, like virtual reality and mixed reality, aims to create 3D virtual simulations of real-world objects. Real and simulated objects are combined in mixed reality.

Sensors and markers are used in all of the preceding cases to track the position of virtual and real-world objects. AR employs sensors and markers to detect the location of real-world objects before determining the location of simulated ones. The AR renders an image for the user to see. The simulated world in VR, which also uses math algorithms, will then react to the user’s head and eye movements.

However, unlike VR, which completely immerses the user in simulated worlds by isolating them from reality, AR is only partially immersive.


Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with our surroundings with its cutting-edge capabilities. AR presents new options for learning, entertainment, marketing, and design by seamlessly fusing digital material with our real-world surroundings. With AR technology evolving and becoming more accessible, we can expect to see more applications in the future that uses AR.

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