Article | 1:47 min read

What is Augmented Reality?


Although augmented reality (AR) has been around for a while, the technology has been picking up publicity and speed recently. With the release of applications such as Layar, Wikitude, and the latest application, Pokémon Go, AR is quickly becoming a sought after technology for both consumers and businesses.

Tablet reader viewing paperwork

AR is a technology that places virtual elements into the real world. Based on your location or a specific mark picked up by your camera, AR blurs the virtual world and reality together creating a new user experience.

Unlike virtual reality that requires goggles and a headset, AR can be accessed easily using an application on a smartphone, requiring no extra equipment. While it is still possible to use this technology with glasses, it is not required; this allows a larger audience to access the technology and creates more opportunities for businesses to reach possible consumers.

The uses for AR are almost unlimited, ranging anywhere from entertainment to medical to commercial. The military uses AR to help soldiers see information about the terrain, as well as satellite images to help them on different missions [1]. Companies like Yelp are using the technology to show possible restaurants or attractions, along with their ratings and reviews. And applications are being made that can help medical students learn the human body faster, as well as perform simple surgeries with the help of AR [2].

As for your business, here are a few ways that you can look to incorporate AR [3]:

  1. Remote guidance.

    Employees who spend most of their day outside of the office on a job can find themselves needing guidance from time to time. AR glasses can supply just that, giving employees information and possibly step-by-step guides on completing tasks.
  2. More training.

    AR can give trainees the opportunity to play out a certain scenario as many times as they need to without hurting anything in real-life.
  3. Bringing objects to life.

    For designers, AR can help bring designs to life, allowing them to better see the product they're creating before they spend large amounts of money to create it.
  4. More help for customers.

    Customers can visualize before they buy. Some home improvement stores offer this service to their customers to allow them to view 3D versions of bathrooms using an iPad.


[1] How Augmented Reality Works, How stuff works
[2] 6 cool uses for augmented reality in healthcare, Tech Republic
[3] Five ways augmented reality will transform your business, ZD Net


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