Augmented reality (AR) combines live video with computer-generated images, sounds, videos or GPS data. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which immerses the user in an entirely digital environment, AR blends digital content with the real world. When the device’s camera is viewing a specific marker determined by the application, it layers the computer effects over what is being seen in real time. Markers can be anything from a small image to an actual city skyline.
In the professional world, Augmented Reality offers educational and visualization benefits. An architect or contractor can overlay 3D building plans on top of the actual construction site. Medical students can study virtual bodies. Maps can be explored from any angle.
Augmented Reality is an emerging technology, used for many purposes. It has been used for games, marketing campaigns, internal business applications, and more. Releasing projects with AR capability establishes your brand as a leader in innovation.
As a business tool, AR apps have been used in marketing efforts, brand awareness, and promotional giveaways. Other uses involve game development or as an information tool that integrates with other applications like maps.
Building AR into consumer applications instantly makes them more interactive and compelling to the end user. The possibilities are numerous: retail stores can have each product bring up facts and marketing information; real estate agencies can provide property information to mobile devices for anyone driving by; travel companies can identify nearby points of interest.
Augmented Reality apps merge the real world with extra data, so they’re a powerful branding opportunity. The element of fun encourages consumers to download, so they’re open to marketing messages and "gee whiz" functionality.
Games / Entertainment
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