What Is Augmented Reality and how does it work?

What is Augmented Reality

If you’ve been following our InSights, you’ve already seen that Augmented Reality is a reoccurring topic here. This technology has not only been revolutionizing advertising in the way brands interact with their audience but also the decision-making process in the manufacturing industry, training amongst others.

I’d also like to emphasize that Augmented Reality increases engagement. Given all of that and for the fact that the use of the technology is growing, in this article I’m going to focus on two frequent questions:

  • What is Augmented Reality?
  • How does AR work?

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (or AR) is a technology that takes an image of a virtual object and superimposes it onto the real world. With that AR creates an illusion that the holographic content is part of the physical world around you!

The best way to exemplify what is Augmented Reality, is to talk about the popular Pokémon Go game. In the game, when you pointed the camera of your smartphone or tablet, you would see virtual 3D characters and objects superimposed to your surroundings.

So in a nutshell, AR uses your current surroundings wherever you may be, and adds visual content to it in order to create an “enhanced environment”

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

When we try to explain what is Augmented Reality, there’s usually some confusion with another type of technology: Virtual Reality (or VR). To clear things up once and for all, here is the difference between the two:

  • Virtual Reality creates an environment that is 100% virtual in which people are immersed in it and can interact with it. In other words, it substitutes your surroundings with a virtual world.
  • Augmented Reality does exactly what its name suggests: it augments reality (i.e your surroundings) instead of substituting it.

So you can see that contrary to Virtual Reality, AR focuses on your current surroundings and ads virtual content generated by computer to it, such as animations or even three-dimensional objects.  

How does Augmented Reality work?

Now that you understand how Augmented Reality differs from Virtual Reality, we can move on to AR works. Simply put, the goal of AR is to insert virtual objects and/or animations to your surroundings and allow you to interact with them in real time.

To reach this objective, the first step is to develop an AR App, which is something that should be done by a specialized company – like Signia Digital. The app will allow for the capture of your surroundings through a camera on a smartphone, tablet of HMD (head-mounted display).

Next, the app needs to identify a reference point to superimpose the virtual information. That’s when it digitalizes what it captured from its surroundings. Once the reference points are determined, the app superimposes the virtual media (video, 3D object, animation) onto the captured surrounding.

Augmented Reality Use

After you’ve downloaded an AR App, its use is extremely easy. To see what I mean and experience Augmented Reality for yourself, just follow the instructions in the image bellow!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article and previously mentioned in other articles, every company that wants to provide its consumers and/or team members with an engaging experience, has a lot to gain by using Augmented Reality!

To learn more about AR and see some of the experiences we’ve created, leave a comment below or reach out to us!

‘Till next time.