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How Does Augmented Reality Work?

Augmented Reality has got everyone amazed. At the same people are trying to embrace and enjoy it. From academicians, technologists as well as digital marketers.

AR has fulfilled the need for consumers to experience more interactive experiences. But how does this happen? How does augmented reality work and differ from virtual Reality?

Below is a brief look into Augmented Reality.

Definition of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is the technology of enhancing features of real-life objects. This is an evolving technology applied in digital games more than in other spaces. There are different phenomena by which Augment Reality works.

However, the overarching principle is straightforward. Computer generated virtual images superimposed on camera images the image features.

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

There are three approaches to achieving the results of AR;


As you can already guess, this is AR that centered on revealing more about a location. The most common source for this is the GPS tracker. For basics, a GPS tracker tells the exact location of a person or object if something is being tracked down.

Having pinned the location, the AR software needs basic characteristics of the location. Such as a digital compass, velocity meter, and the accelerometer. Algorithms analyze Data from the devices to generate unique characteristics of the location.

This produces augmented Reality that is location based.

Recognition Based

This AR approach is also called marker-based AR.

It is a little complicated to understand though it is simple. Here there is an object, a visual marker, and a digital camera. The object has to detect the marker. This happens if a user clicks on an object online. Then the digital camera detects the marker before features are overlaid.

The digital camera in-turn produces the 3D image of the corresponding object. Generation of 3D images of the object show position and orientation to the viewer. Someone studying the object can view the object from different angles. Different views reveal more detail.


This is a Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system.

It uses a set of algorithms to localize sensors to a surrounding. This way, the devices map the structure of the environment. The SLAM approach is the least applied.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Both AR and VR affect your perception of an item. However, the two are very different. AR is an enhancement of natural items and places using digital features.

Virtual Reality, on the other hand, is a different experience from the natural world. The VR technology immerses the user in a simulated word that is not real.

A typical example to illustrate the difference uses a building structure. This is a structure that is incomplete, and a potential buyer wants to view its detail.  AR will take the image of the incomplete building and superimpose on it finishes to create that look.

VR will enable the viewer to walk through it as though the viewer is in that building at that exact time.

Applications of AR

The applications of AR cut across many spaces. Digital gaming, mobile apps, military missions, and in the medical sector as well. Before this, the most popular forms of AR that we use are those on our mobile phones.

Start with Snap chat. Most people think this is one of the apps that spruces-up you look. Those lenses, hairdos, and flowers are a form of Augmented Reality.


Mobile games have enjoyed the breakthrough that AR has had. The hallmark of this is the Pokemon Go game that launched in 2016.

In this game, a player can locate the Pokémon characters in a fountain, the sidewalk, and even a bathroom. These physical locations built in the games simulate the feeling of real-time playing. It is as though one is playing the game on real physical locations.


Architects have tapped into AR to design and build spectacular structures in cities. For one, the architectural drawings can the augmented with computer-visioned features. This means that with a simple plan, you can picture how the building will look like upon completion.

AR technology works for large architectural projects before actual construction to perceive how the project might change the geographical location.

AR has also made site-seeing possible for both near and distant clients. Potential buyers view properties with all the features through AR. They can already see the end product even with the construction underway.

Some go as far as using VR to take the clients through the anticipated project.

Today AR is an integral part of mainstream print and video marketing. Print marketing makes use of materials designed with AR triggers. A click on the material leads scanning of the material.

With this trigger, a buyer gets all the details of a commodity, including a video of how it works. The same applies to video marketing. Video marketing that is AR-enabled discloses trivial details.

This technology has shifted shopping and marketing from physical to digital and virtual. These digital marketing trends make AR a technology with great potential.

The Future of Augmented Reality

Ultimately, AR seeks to create a completely natural and convenient experience. Be it in marketing, military, shopping, or even studying. This spurs so much impetus to make AR mainstream in these sensitive sectors.

Currently, research in holography is underway to unearth more devices that can use AR. Day and night research is underway to make real futuristic devices.

Far from these advancements, unprecedented ethical concerns around issues of privacy. As well, people worry that AR technology is intrusive. If one person can tell everything about another, then there is a threat to privacy.

On the positive side, AR is life-changing. Surgeons have been able to apply this technology to read the inside of the human body. The tremendous milestones that AR has undergone are a basis for more discoveries, more solutions, and a digital world, regardless of the sector.

Augmented Reality’s Bright Future

As demonstrated, AR is an evolving technology. Powered by Reality and digital advances in improving perception. Unlike VR, AR enhances Reality despite that everything is slowly transiting into digitalization.

How does augmented reality work? With diverse applications, it is safe to say that AR permeates all aspects of living. AR is the next big thing.

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