What is Augmented Reality (AR) How does it work and what Innovative Examples

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a technology that augments our physical world by overlaying it with digital information. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) does not develop entirely fabricated surroundings to replace the real with the virtual. AR appears directly in front of an existing environment and augments it with audio, films, and visuals.

Augmented reality (AR) is a view of a physical real-world environment with computer-generated graphics layered on top of it, altering the impression of reality.

The word was coined in 1990, and its initial commercial use was in television and the military. With the growth of the Internet and smartphones, augmented reality entered its second wave and is now mostly associated with interactive ideas. Through the direct projection of 3D models onto physical objects or the real-time fusion of many augmented reality apps, we may influence our behaviors, social lives, and the entertainment sector.

Typically, AR apps tie digital animation to a special marker or determine the position using the GPS in phones. Augmentation occurs in real-time and within the context of the environment, like when scores are superimposed on a live feed of sporting events.

How does AR work?

For many of us, the question is how does Augmented Reality work? AR uses a variety of data (pictures, animations, movies, 3D models) that may be viewed in both natural and artificial light. Unlike VR, consumers are aware they are in the actual environment, enhanced by computer vision.

AR can be seen on screens, glasses, phones, and head-mounted displays. For example, S.L.A.M. (simultaneous localization and mapping) uses sensor data to calculate the distance to objects.

Cameras and Sensors

Collecting and processing user interaction data. Cameras on devices scan the environment, locating tangible items and generating 3D models. It could be a special-purpose camera like Microsoft Hololens or a regular smartphone camera.


AR devices should someday act as computers, as smartphones already do. The same is true for measuring speed and angle, direction, and orientation in space (e.g. Bluetooth/WiFi, GPS).


A small projector on AR headsets projects digital content (processed data) onto a surface for viewing. The usage of AR projections in commercial products or services has yet to be fully invented.


Others have mirrors for human eyes to see virtual images. Each one has an “array of miniature curved mirrors” that reflect light to the camera and the user’s eye. The purpose of such reflection routes is to align images.

Types of AR Marker-based AR It’s also called picture recognition because it requires a camera to scan it. It can be a printed QR code or customized signs. In some circumstances, the AR gadget also determines a marker’s position and orientation. Using a marker, users may observe digital animations, and photographs in magazines can become 3D models.

Type of AR

Marker-based AR 

Marker-based AR is one type of Augmented Reality. Some refer to it as picture recognition because it requires a specific visual item and a camera to scan. It can be a printed QR code or a sign. In some circumstances, the AR gadget also determines a marker’s position and orientation. As a result of a marker initiating digital animations for viewers to observe, photos in a magazine may transform into 3D models.

MarkerLess AR

The term “markerless augmented reality” refers to augmented reality that is based on the user’s location and is enabled via a GPS, compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer, among other things. This data is then used to assess what AR content is available in a given area. With the availability of smartphones, this type of AR generally generates maps and instructions, as well as information about nearby companies. Events and information, commercial ad pop-ups, and navigation support are examples of applications.

AR-based on projection

Projecting artificial light onto physical surfaces and, in some situations, allowing interaction with it. These are the holograms we’ve all seen in science fiction films like Star Wars. It recognizes human engagement with a projection through its changes.

Augmented Reality is based on projections

AR-based on superimposition. Replaces the original view with an enhanced view, either completely or partially. Object recognition is critical; without it, the entire notion is unachievable. We’ve all seen the IKEA Catalog app’s usage of overlaid augmented reality, which allows users to place virtual objects from their furniture catalog in their rooms.

Devices for Augmented Reality

Many current devices enable AR. From smartphones and tablets to Google Glass and handheld devices, technology is always evolving. To process and project AR images and videos, devices and hardware must contain sensors and cameras as well as other features like GPS, CPU, and display.

Augmented reality devices fall into three categories:

  • These include mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), which are the most widely available and most suited for AR mobile apps.
  • Special AR gadgets made just for augmented reality. One example is a HUD, which sends data to a transparent display in front of the user. Initiated to teach military fighter pilots, these technologies are today used in aviation, automobile, manufacturing, and sports.
  • It includes Google Glasses, Meta 2, Laster See-Thru, and Laforge AR eyewear, as well as other AR glasses (smart glasses). These gadgets can display smartphone notifications, assist assembly line employees, and access information hands-free.
  • AR contact lenses (or smart lenses) extend the use of Augmented Reality. The makers of AR lenses, like Samsung and Sony, have said that they are working on them. Samsung is developing lenses as a smartphone accessory, while Sony is developing lenses as standalone AR gadgets (with features like taking photos or storing data).
  • Virtual retinal displays (VRD) project images into the human eye. Such systems, aiming for bright, high contrast, and high-resolution images, are yet to be viable.

5 Insightful Examples of Augmented Reality in Action

MAX Pepsi

An AR-enabled bus stop display recently pranked commuters in London. People were grabbed off the street by an alien tentacle. A description is inadequate. Check it out:


The US Army is using AR technology to boost situational awareness. The technology, dubbed “Tactical Augmented Reality” (TAR), is essentially an eyepiece that lets soldiers pinpoint their own and others’ positions.

TAR will eventually replace night-vision goggles for soldiers. It will also replace the handheld GPS units currently used by soldiers. The eyepiece connects wirelessly to a tablet worn by soldiers and a thermal site installed on their weapons or carbines. The cool part: Through the eyepiece of a soldier’s weapon, the soldier may see the target’s image and other characteristics such as distance.


It aired an AR racing showcasing its 2018 TLX sedan this month. Four influencers raced in the “What a Race” AR experience for the fastest overall time over three laps in Acura’s newest model.

Each lap generated a new AR course for the driver and the Facebook Live audience to navigate, testing the Acura TLX A-exquisite Spec’s handling. The action was captured by cameras installed on the drivers’ helmets. This year’s drivers used custom-made race helmets with AR technology implanted in a wide-angle 180-degree visor. The helmets were linked to a computer in the backseat that provided the high-speed rendering needed to maintain the experience seamlessly and visually sharp.


In 2015, Disney Research created technology that made coloring book figures 3D. Why include an older example in our roundup? Because it is so simple, it shows the potential for AR to become a daily staple.


L’Oréal teamed up with Perfect Corp. to bring its cosmetics collections on the YouCam Makeup app, challenging the way consumers explore, try, and buy beauty goods.

Studies reveal that today’s cosmetics customer, especially the Millennial age, needs the ability to test. The L’Oréal-Perfect Corp cooperation places iPads at beauty counters but also allows clients to test cosmetics at home or on the go.

There are 64 virtual beauty options available for fans in the US, India, Mexico, and Russia. Each look includes a selection of L’Oréal Paris products that customers may try on and purchase via the app.

Read More:  Top 9 Chatbot Trends and Features That Will Be Significant in 2022