Feb 28, 2024
min read

What is Augmented Reality: Everything You Need to Know

Open the world of augmented reality to ultimately boost your business marketing performance.

No matter how numerous publications and statistics on Augmented Reality are, the technology is relatively new. So, many businesses are unaware of the benefits AR brings to their performance.

For those eager to know the frontier tech, the top Uni experts have prepared this blog article, overviewing the sphere and predictions about AR. Lately, you could read about AR in e-commerce and VR in healthcare.

If interested in more cases and articles on immersive experiences, subscribe to get the latest information and be ahead of the curve.

What is AR Technology?

Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) deals nothing with artificially crafted environments. It overlays the 3D objects onto the real world in real-time.

In most cases, you don’t need special equipment to perceive AR. You use your usual smartphones, tablets, etc. However, it doesn’t mean that no special gear can be developed for means of AR only. In some sense, AR breaks the fourth wall in our interactions with content.

These days, AR is used in many industries, including entertainment, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and logistics. Furthermore, AR is gaining popularity with the spread of metaverse solutions, notably in mobile computing and commercial applications.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse concept concerns the new way companies communicate with media. For instance, you can forge your digital copy and operate it in an entirely virtual world with the help of wearable technology devices.

That’s why, along with VR, AR is a crucial element of any Metaverse. Metaverse AR serves as a link between the physical and digital worlds, enabling users to experience augmented reality not just in their local physical surroundings, but also in the virtual regions of the metaverse.

This integration improves the metaverse's overall immersive experience by adding interactive and dynamic features with which users may interact.

Evolution of Augmented Reality

The rise of AR is predetermined by technical progress. As soon as most people carry a phone in their pocket with a high-definition camera, the AR concept was inevitable to emerge.

But, who invented augmented reality? The AR roots stem back to the 1960s, with early trials of head-mounted and head-up displays for military and industrial use. Ivan Sutherland, a renowned computer scientist, created the first head-mounted display device in 1968. However, the honor to name the concept fell on Tim Caudell, a Boeing researcher, in 1990.

Next, in the same 1990s, researchers focused on wearable devices and marker-based tracking systems. Since that time, the progress couldn’t be stopped. Now, modern AR technologies include Microsoft HoloLens, Apple AR Kit, Google AR Core, etc. — all of which have broadened the potential for AR applications and continue to advance in both hardware and software.

How Augmented Reality Work?

Away from the complex definitions, let’s describe the principles of AR tech. Actually, how does augmented reality work? 

As AR superimposes digital objects over the real world, users can simultaneously interact with both the physical and digital worlds. Here’s a brief algorithm.

You start by turning on the app or camera to read the QR code or enter the website. The device identifies the environment around the user and places the predetermined item from the cloud with the help of sensors, in particular GPS, accelerometers, orientation, barometer, and so on. 

After the readings made, these items appear on the screen for users to interact with them as if they are real. You can rotate, scale, and manage them to perform tasks. Namely, medical students learn anatomy, warehouse workers manage the inventories, shoppers try on products, etc.

What is the Difference Between AR and VR?

In the battle between augmented reality vs virtual reality, there is no winner. They are different in their focus.

VR offers a software-created virtual environment presented to consumers through wearable devices. At the same time, using these headsets, our brains perceive the virtual world as real.

The AR technology does not cut off the users from real environments, it enhances the media, adding digital elements and enabling physical-like interactions.

That’s why AR gadgets don’t need special gear. We can use our usual smartphones, glasses, projectors, and head-up displays in autos.

Benefits of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality technology has many advantages since it offers more user-friendly interaction with content than traditional media:

  • Enhanced product design and development. The manufacturers can test products before manufacturing to get feedback and improve the products before release.
  • Straight-forward training. No matter the industry, onboarding, guiding, and education can be much more effective.
  • Streamlined stock management. AR can back up inventory management for warehouses, markets, and producers, preventing and fixing problems on the go.
  • Increased engagement. AR immerses users into the content, ensuring stronger emotional ties to the products, becoming irreplaceable in the entertainment industry.

AI and machine learning integration along with 5G networks, new displays, and more powerful processing capabilities may enhance AR and VR experiences further. However, AR technologies still confront several obstacles that must be overcome.

Challenges of Augmented Reality

Like any other technology, AR has some difficulties for both users, creators, and businesses. Some main AR-connected problems are:

  • Technical limitations. AR technology is limited by the processing power and battery life, which may affect performance and utility.
  • User experience. AR experiences may be challenging to use and navigate, especially for first-timers.
  • Cost. Creating high-quality AR content may be a difficult and time-consuming process that requires specific skills and knowledge. Besides, the cost of gear is high.
  • Standards and interoperability. The AR industry lacks standards, making it difficult for various AR systems to collaborate and exchange material across platforms.

Overall, although AR shows great promise, overcoming these obstacles will be key to fulfilling its full potential and making it a more widespread technology.

Real Examples of AR

Augmented Reality examples are numerous, whichever industry considered. Let’s explain the viral ones.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go has blown the gaming world once, introducing the augmented reality definition to a new level. It’s a game based on AR features, using a player's GPS to identify their location and to show the hidden Pokémon animals nearby.

Then users have to navigate the streets in their cities to catch their Pokémon for battles and collections. The game is still popular, reaching half a billion US dollars in revenue in 2023.

Google Glass

Google Glass is Google's first commercial effort at a glasses-based augmented reality system, and is among the most successful similar projects.

This tiny, wearable computer allows users to operate hands-free. It’s designed in the first place to help companies like DHL improve their efficiency in global supply chain logistics and customized delivery.

Even in the released second version, there are no Google services. It means that you can’t use voice assistance whatever to navigate the system. However, you can see live translations of what another person says in the text.


Snapchat’s AR-powered feature enables users to add virtual objects to photos and videos taken in real life. Known as "lenses" on the camera, these features may be used to apply filters, effects, and other changes to the user's photographs and videos.

All together, they make Snapchat a creative and immersive messenger, inducing fun in informal conversations.

Future of Augmented Reality Technology

We believe that AR technology will be another chance to future-proof your brand, as it offers pioneering and engaging activities for users in a snap. In particular, you don’t need costly VR gear for AR. However, the content creation remains the weak link.

Moreover, Apple is developing an open-source mobile AR tool set, called ARKit. It allows creating 4K high-dynamic range, or HDR content with ease while also improving picture and video capture. The same researches are made for Android. For example, ARCore makes use of a geospatial API that pulls data from Google Earth 3D models and Street View images from Google Maps.

Furthermore, the proliferation of 5G networks, for example, may make cloud-based augmented reality experiences more accessible, by giving AR apps with faster data rates and reduced latency.

Because AR employs immersive technology, new possibilities and experiences across many platforms and media kinds are on the horizon.

Final Thoughts

The future of AR despite all challenges seems bright. Since AR is a technology that combines a real-world environment with a computer-generated one, it improves the user's experience and viewpoint.

It has a wide range of applications, including gaming, design, retail, and teaching, leaving space for further advancement almost in every sphere of our businesses and everyday lives.

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Dmytro Dzandzava
Delivery Manager
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