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What is Augmented Reality? Real-Life Examples

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Imagine waking up in the morning, and as you get out of bed, your bedroom window transforms into a transparent AR screen. It greets you with a pleasant "Good Morning" and presents an overview of your day: weather forecasts, your schedule, and even news highlights tailored to your interests.

The AR personal Assistant  of an Iron Man

Your refrigerator door displays a menu of breakfast recipes that you may make with the ingredients inside as you head to the kitchen. It even makes recommendations for a nutritious smoothie recipe based on your health objectives and previous exercise routine.

Using a combination of the real and virtual worlds, augmented reality is the way of the future, improving every aspect of our everyday existence and making it more interactive, efficient, and immersive.But What is Augmented Reality?

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the technology that layers computer-generated imagery on top of an existing reality, giving us the ability to experience the world in a new way.

Using the camera on your smartphone, experience the world around you with a unique twist: digital components such as graphics or animations seem to be a part of the real world. Pokémon Go is a well-known example, where players explore the actual world and use their screens to view and capture Pokémon that appear to be in front of them. AR is responsible for this magic. Augmented Reality (AR) skillfully combines the digital and the real, boosting our daily experiences, while Virtual Reality (VR) fully submerges you in a digital world.

Three fundamental components make up augmented reality (AR) systems:

  • A blend of the real and virtual worlds

  • Real-time interaction

  • Accurate 3D registration of virtual and real things

Mixed reality and augmented reality are essentially the same thing. Terminology used to describe computer-mediated reality and extended reality also overlaps.


The first working augmented reality (AR) systems that offered users immersive mixed reality experiences were created in the early 1990s; the Virtual Fixtures system was created in 1992 at the Armstrong Laboratory of the U.S. Air Force.

1990: Tom Caudell, a Boeing researcher, coined the term ‘Augmented reality’.

1992: Louis Rosenburg, a researcher in the USAF Armstrong's Research Lab, created Virtual Fixtures, which was one of the first fully functional augmented reality systems.

The first working augmented reality (AR) systems was created in 1992 at the Armstrong Laboratory of the U.S. Air Force.

The main benefit of augmented reality is how elements of the virtual world are integrated with how an individual perceives the real world. This is done through integrating immersive sensations that are interpreted as organic elements of the surroundings, rather than just data being displayed. The entertainment and gaming industries were the first to develop commercial augmented reality experiences.

What is the Concept behind it ?

The idea of virtual fixtures was first presented as a way to enhance human performance in jobs that can be performed directly and remotely by overlaying virtual sensory data on a workstation.

The virtual sensory overlays can be displayed as physically accurate structures that are registered in space to give the user the impression that they are completely present in the actual workplace. Additionally, the virtual sensory overlays may be abstractions with characteristics that are not achievable in actual physical structures. Because the idea of sensory overlays is hard to explain and grasp, the virtual fixture metaphor was developed.

Real-Life Examples

Pokémon Go

Pockemon go Game related map

This mobile game took the world by storm in 2016. Players use their smartphones to find and catch virtual Pokémon that appear in real-world locations. The game uses the phone's camera to display the Pokémon as if they're in the actual environment.

Snapchat Filters

Snap chat icon

Many of Snapchat's popular filters use AR to overlay digital graphics on users' faces or surroundings. For instance, a user might see a flower crown on their head or dancing hotdogs in their room.

AR Navigation in Google Maps

AR Map of Google

Google Maps introduced an AR walking navigation feature called "Live View." When users hold up their phones, they see arrows and directions overlaid on the real world, helping them navigate streets and intersections more intuitively.

Medical Training

Medical team with AR technology

AR is used in medical training to overlay complex medical data on a patient's body. For instance, a medical student can point an AR device at a mannequin and see overlaid graphics showing organs, bones, and systems, providing a more interactive learning experience.

Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses

Augmented Reality glasses, often referred to as smart glasses, are wearable computer glasses that superimpose computer-generated information onto the user's view of the real world. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, which take you to a completely virtual environment, AR glasses add digital elements to the live view.

Features and Capabilities

  • AR glasses typically use transparent lenses as their display medium. The digital content is projected onto these lenses.

  • They come equipped with cameras and sensors to capture the real-world view, which then gets augmented with digital content.

  • Most AR glasses can connect to the internet or other devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other wireless methods.

  • Users can interact with the digital content using gestures, voice commands, or touchpads on the glasses.

Popular Brands

Compared to virtual reality, augmented reality is a more contemporary technology that offers an interdisciplinary application framework. Research on Education and learning appears to be centered around this topic these days.

In fact, augmented reality (AR) offers ways to help learning, such as enhancing motivation to learn as well as memory retention and material understanding.




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