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What Is AR: Heighten Your Perception of Reality

Updated: May 06,2022

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Augmented reality is an exciting way to enhance your perception of reality. This tech uses computer-generated images to overlay digital information on top of the physical world. It can be as simple as displaying text or graphics over a live camera feed or as complex as projecting a three-dimensional image into a real-world setting.

What is AR used for? AR statistics show that this technology has a wide range of potential applications. Already it delivers results across various industries, including gaming, navigation, and information gathering. 

AR: Definition and Uses

AR superimposes computer-generated images or auditory information on a user’s real-time view of the natural world, creating interactive experiences and allowing users to interact with digital information naturally and intuitively.

Data Processing

AR has also shown promise in enhancing personal safety, 3D design, and logistics. For instance, data collection and analysis are complex processes of gathering information and finding patterns. AR apps could help us process it better and make more streamlined decisions based on the results. Creating compelling visualizations of data can make everyday tasks more fascinating.

Marketing and Customer Care

AR technology is showing great potential for marketers, too. AR apps provide a unique opportunity to engage customers in a novel way and create more impactful experiences by providing interactive product demonstrations or giving customers access to exclusive content. Retailers use AR applications to show customers how products would look in their homes and make purchasing decisions easier. 

Many specialists also suggest that augmented reality can be used in customer satisfaction software. Tracking customer behavior and gathering data about their preferences has never been simpler, so we are likely to see more and more businesses using AR to reach and engage their target audiences.

Entertainment

Entertainment is one of many industries where we can see significant benefits of augmented reality in business. AR apps have been developed for entertainment venues such as theme parks and museums.

These apps enhance visitors’ experience by providing interactive content relevant to their surroundings. For example, a consumer might point their phone at a building and see information about the architect or the construction date written over the facade. 

Education

In education, augmented reality can bring abstract concepts to life, engage students in active learning, and provide immersive experiences that would not be possible with traditional methods. Teachers create interactive lessons thanks to AR features to engage students and make learning more fun in the classroom. 

AR has also proved helpful in various training applications, such as medical simulations and aviation maintenance. 

Healthcare

Constant development is nowhere as important as it is in healthcare, and AR brings some groundbreaking possibilities to the (OR) table. For example, medical professionals might be able to have an anatomy lesson overlaid on a live patient or view a patient’s internal organs via AR systems that will help them plan surgeries and other procedures. 

Other Uses

With the advent of AR, mechanics may use the technology to see inside engines and other machinery, making diagnosing and repairing problems easier. 

AR can help architects evaluate their design and define it in augmented reality on a level of detail never seen before.

Similarly, graphic designers could use augmented reality with head-mounted displays to view their work in 3D and make changes in real-time. 

And the military personnel could use it to view enemy positions, plan missions, and provide real-time information to fellow soldiers.

Augmented Reality Devices

Today’s AR tech is commonly accessed in one of two ways: through advanced apps or AR headsets. 

AR Apps

This option offers a great deal of convenience, as you can use an AR app on your mobile device. These apps provide cyber overlap of information in the real world, and some typical applications include augmented reality games, navigation, and information gathering. The phone’s camera is essential for AR apps to function correctly and provide the best AR experience. 

A well-known example of an AR app is Pokémon Go, a mobile game that allows players to hunt and capture virtual creatures. The game was wildly successful and one of the first peeks into the world of AR for broader audiences. Other popular AR apps are The Witcher: Monster Slayer, Sky Guide, Google Translate, and Ikea Place.

AR Headset

AR headsets or AR glasses are wearable computers that allow users to see digital information superimposed over their natural field of vision. The data can include text messages, GPS directions, or virtual objects such as 3D models or game characters. AR headsets are not to be confused with smart glasses, which only present static 2D imagery.

You can use AR headsets for more practical purposes, such as augmenting your view of a real-world object with digital data like measurements or instructions, thus improving efficiency and accuracy.

The most popular models of AR headsets are the Microsoft HoloLens and the Magic Leap One. The HoloLens is a self-contained computer that projects holograms into the user’s field of view. The Magic Leap One uses a head-mounted display to project images. More augmented reality devices are still in their development stages and are constantly improved upon, hopefully making them more affordable.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are emerging technologies that offer users the ability to immerse themselves in digital environments. The main difference between them is in how they are created.

Virtual realities are computer-generated, with fully realized 3D models encircling the player to create virtual worlds. On the other hand, AR applications mix computer-generated elements and real-world objects. The background seen through these apps is real, with a layer of visual or auditory data made from the computer data and heads-up displays.

VR data shows that virtual reality is often used for gaming and entertainment, while the AR environment’s applications are more practical and include areas such as education and training.

Drawbacks of AR

While the very definition of augmented reality implies the enhancement of reality to enrich our interaction with the environment, there are some downsides to be considered as well. 

Augmented reality, as a concept, brings up multiple concerns. The possibility of distracting users from the real world and the risk of security and privacy threats are at the top. Still, there are other issues, such as the possibility of job displacements in some industries and increased potential for user error.

Other drawbacks of this tech are the high cost of these devices and the need for a dedicated area to use them in, as there might be potentially inaccurate digital overlays.

​​Augmented Reality and the World of Tomorrow

AR is an emerging technology with great promise and many potential applications. Experts believe it’ll have a substantial impact on the workplace in the future, and many of its potential applications are yet to be explored.

FAQ

What Is Augmented Reality Used For?

AR is used for various purposes, including education, entertainment, training, and more.

What Are Some Good Examples of Augmented Reality?

Most popular AR content includes Pokemon GO, Google Maps, and Ikea Place.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Augmented Reality?

The advantages of AR include the potential to improve accuracy in measuring tasks, make learning more fun, and provide better targeted medical treatments. The disadvantages of AR include the high cost and need for specialized hardware and software.

What Is AR in Simple Words?

AR is a technology that enhances a user’s view of the physical world through digital stimuli. 

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Damjan
ABOUT AUTHOR
Damjan

While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.

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