The rapid development of augmented reality creates amazing opportunities for business, education and cultural spheres. It is quite impressive that the combination of the virtual and real worlds causes delight, captures attention and opens doors into the magical hidden worlds.

What is augmented reality (AR) and how does it work?

The answer is right there, in the terminology. Augmenting reality means complementing the real world with virtual content, mostly visual, such as 3D models, photos and images, video, audio and texts and then displaying it on various devices: tablets, smartphones, augmented reality glasses, display systems, etc.

In order to visualize AR content one needs to use the tracking technology which is the core of augmented reality. Tracking means positioning and orienting both real and virtual objects in a unified system of coordinates so that they are bond together naturally.

The simplest example of augmenting reality is a QR code. When pointing the camera onto it a user may be either redirected to a webpage or see some additional visual information, e.g. 3D object right above the QR code.

A QR code can be easily replaced by a random image or a real object such as a table, a wall or a person’s face or hand.

Another tracking technology that is widely used for augmented reality is geolocation.

In 2016 a famous AR game "Pokemon Go" thundered to the whole world. It was totally based on geolocation tracking. Having the ability to position your smartphone at specific location identified by GPS coordinates one could have localized all kinds of Pokemons that are typical for different environments such as water, green parks and others.

In summer 2019 another AR game was launched to the world market – “Wizards Unite”. It is based on the famous series of novels “Harry Potter”. Go ahead and download it for free!

How else if not for games we can use augmented reality?

What’s in it for businesses? – A lot!

The use of augmented reality emotionally involves us, arouses interest and makes us interact effectively with the company’s product.

AR is widely used for exhibition and promotional activities. One can add zest to his printed materials – augment his business cards with bright infographics or videos, put vivid 3D models on catalogue pages, demonstrate how complex equipment works from the inside or x-ray some opaque objects. The use of AR for promotion helps to convey information client in a new, exciting format and provide a WOW effect.

Augmented reality helps to conduct comprehensive employees training and to provide remote maintenance.

For example, Airbus has created a training program where aircraft maintenance crew is able to analyze 3D content through hand-free AR glasses reading virtual instructions above the real objects needed to be inspected or repaired.

Such giants of the consumer goods industry like Ikea and Leroy Merlin have implemented user-friendly AR apps that enable their customers to try and fit the virtual interior elements from the printed catalog at home, choose the color palette and create room design using augmented reality.

In the field of education teachers and students have been successfully developing mobile AR applications to use them in the classrooms and AR laboratories, participating actively in championships and hackathons. It’s not a secret that the use of AR in the classroom increases the effectiveness of learning preocess and involves students into investigating new topics.

You can learn more about AR in education on this page.

For culture AR offers great opportunities as well.

You can build virtual museums and create AR quests, make interactive “living” exhibits, create travel guides in augmented reality, put on augmented theatrical performances and much more.

Augmented reality is an amazing technology that allows us to explore the world at a new level.

Download a of EV Toolbox and start creating your own augmented reality!

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