What is Augmented Reality and How does it Work?

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How Does Augmented Reality Work?

In short, Augmented Reality is an illusion where virtual images are projected over real-world objects. The projection complements the real-world objects by taking input from a camera or a smart glass.

How Does Augmented Reality Work

We have all seen movies from the Iron Man franchise, haven’t we? Remember Jarvis-the AI Construct inside the Ironman armor. Ever wondered how Jarvis helped Ironman kill all the enemies- through informative AR projections.

How Does Augmented Reality Work

Development of AR Technology

In the year 1968, Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull created the first head mounted display. They gave it a fancy name-The Sword of Domacles. And to be honest- it looked like a Torture Device to some extent! Almost 24 years later the term ‘Augmented Reality’ was first coined by two Boeing company researchers-Thomas Caudell and David Mizell. Slowly, major players started to get involved in its development.

In the year 2015, Microsoft presented Windows Holographic and HoloLens. And by far the most talked about implementation of AR technology is Pokemon Go! By the way, did you know Pokemon Go! is also used to get into shape? Not how you expect a traditional fitness app to work, right?

Learn more about Pokemon Go! and other Fitness Apps for iPhone!

How Does Augmented Reality Work

Now let’s learn about some of the widely used techniques of implementing AR technology.

1.0 SLAM

Simultaneous Localization and Mapping is the most effective way of projecting virtual images over real-world objects. It is a set of algorithms that help to solve simultaneous mapping and localization problems.

2.0 Recognition Based

This technology uses a camera to identify visual markers. These markers can be QR/2D code or Natural Feature Tracking Markers (NFT). This technology can calculate the orientation and position of an object. It helps to observe the object from various angles and in more details.

3.0 Location Based

It relies on a GPS, Digital Compass, Velocity Meter, Accelerometer. These devices help to generate the data about location. The location detection feature in smartphones makes it easier to integrate AR technology into it. That is why it is the most popular form of AR technology.

What Components Does The AR Need?

Camera and Sensors are the most basic input components. So if you want to use some of the future AR-based apps, make sure the next phone you buy has a nice camera!

The cameras and sensors scan the surrounding area. Afterward, the AR device uses this data and locates physical objects and generates 3D models of them. Smartphone cameras, in general, can also be used to perform such tasks. On the other hand, special duty cameras like that on Microsoft Hololens can also perform similar tasks.

It also requires a CPU, GPU, Flash Memory, RAM, Bluetooth, WIFI and GPS to measure angle, velocity, direction, orientation in space and other specifications.

What AR Products Can You Buy Today!

Enough of the theory! Let’s learn about the readily available AR products and apps that you can use today.


How Does Augmented Reality Work

Augment is an app, available both in iOS and Android platform. It allows its users to see products in 3D and in a real-life environment. CocaCola, Siemens, Nokia, and Nestle are already using this app to sell their products and services.

Augmented Reality in Browsers

Using AR Browsers, users can point their cameras at any object and instantly see related information appear on the screen like the AR Browser SDK. This browser allows its users to add AR geolocation to iOS and Android applications.

Pokémon Go

How Does Augmented Reality Work

This is the most successful implementation of AR technology. It shows virtual Pokemon scattered through real-world locations. Chase them and catch them. That’s the whole point of the game. And needless to say, players can only see these pokemon on their smartphone screens. This app has been downloaded more than 650 Million times. And it has also generated a total revenue of roughly $1Billion.

Augmented Reality GPS

The applications use the GPS to locate user’s location and the compass to figure out the device orientation.

What Else Should You Know About AR

There is an AR-based helmet-Skully AR1 helmet. This helmet projects the temperature, driving direction, and also a 180-degree rear view to the drivers. Cool right?

Do you know about the most anticipated AR headset-Magic Leap? In short, Magic Leap has set a vision of making AR based devices for household use. Click here to read the full story.

How Does Augmented Reality Work


Now, who wouldn’t want AR technology implemented in the entertainment industry? In fact, it has already been implemented. You can visit the Universal Studios Orlando Park today and interact with the Jurassic Park dinosaurs using a simple AR-based mobile app. Another interesting implementation can be in the movie industry. Movie lovers can point their phones at a movie poster and information like-cast, the trailer will automatically appear on the screen.

Additionally, in the year 2013, IKEA released an app. This app included a catalog of their products. Buyers can pick any IKEA furniture and see how that particular piece of furniture would look at different locations in their apartment.

Let us hear from you. What are the AR implementations you want to see? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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