What is the Augmented Reality?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 16, 2022, 12:05

In a massive effort to make science and technology more relevant to humans, scientists are constantly innovating new technologies. Technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data are some such technologies that have not only enhanced the capability of computers and smartphones but also made marketing easier for businesses.

Read on to know everything you should learn about Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality - Overview

The word Augmented comes from the Latin word Augere. Augere means to increase or add. Augmented Reality or AR is a technology that lets you see digital objects in the real world. Since AR superimposes virtual objects and images over some physical things, it is also known as Mixed Reality.

You can understand Augmented Reality better if you know of Snapchat and Pokemon Go. Snapchat automatically recognises your face and lets you apply funny, real-looking stickers or filters on your face. The platform uses Artificial Intelligence to detect your face and suggest filters that would best suit your face pattern. On the other hand, Pokemon Go superimposes cartoon characters on the player's surroundings, and they have to locate the characters.

Augmented Reality is a lot similar to Virtual Reality since both use digital objects to create a real-life experience. AR typically places digital objects on a real-life body. You can communicate with virtual things through Augmented Reality just like they are present before you.

Mechanism Behind Augmented Reality

The first step of Augmented Reality is to use a device that supports it. Alternatively, some websites and apps let users explore the full features of AR on their ordinary digital devices.

AR needs access to your camera lens. An AR application uses the camera lens to scan a real-life object and creates a digital impression of it. The application's algorithm and software calculate and analyse the object to measure its distance.

Then, the application places the object digitally over the real-life object. So, Augmented Reality is basically an enhanced (read, augmented) version of the real-life world.

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Augmented Reality Examples

While Snapchat and Pokemon Go are the basic examples of Augmented Reality, there are some other applications of AR. Here are the top areas where AR is used:

  1. Navigation systems use AR to superimpose some routes over roads live view.
  2. During cricket and football matches, broadcasters draw lines on the ground to illustrate figures and statistics.
  3. Furniture manufacturer IKEA has an AR app called IKEA Place to let you test the look of a piece of furniture in your home. Similarly, Lenskart offers an app that lets you test eyewear on your face before purchasing.
  4. The pilots of military fighter jets get information about speed, altitude, etc., on their helmet visors. This saves them from the hassles of checking the dashboard.
  5. Neurosurgeons often use a 3-D brain's AR projection to streamline surgeries.
  6. Historians and archaeologists use AR to understand the life and times of ancient civilisations. Hence, AR can help you reconstruct the past.
  7. Singapore airport ground crew wear AR glasses to get real-time information about cargo containers and optimise the loading times.

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Augmented Reality is slowly but steadily being adopted by various industries and sectors like education, healthcare, defence, advertising, pharmaceuticals, etc. If properly implemented and used, Augmented Reality can give us a sneak peek into the future.

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FAQs on Augmented Reality

Q1) What is Augmented Reality?

The word Augmented comes from the Latin word Augere. Augere means to increase or add. Augmented Reality or AR is a technology that lets you see digital objects in the real world.

Q2) What is the difference between AR and VR?

Virtual Reality (VR) uses a virtual environment, while Augmented Reality (AR) uses a real-world setting.

Q3) What is an example of Augmented Reality?

Navigation systems using Augmented Reality to superimpose some routes over roads live view is an example of AR.

Q4) Which sectors use Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is slowly but steadily being adopted by various industries and sectors like education, healthcare, defence, advertising, pharmaceuticals, etc.