What is ‘Augmented Reality’ and how does it work?

What is ‘Augmented Reality’ and how does it work?

To ‘augment’ is to add, so in essence ‘Augmented Reality’ is to add to virtual reality ….and what you’re adding is more ‘senses.’ If we go back to the original presentation medium of ‘Audio/visual’, these were, no matter how spectacularly presented, just sight and sound presentations. ‘Virtual reality’ took this a step further with the incorporation of 3 dimensional computer graphics, but it was still about vision and hearing, so from a layman  advertiser’s point of view and without getting too technical, we try to answer the question “What is Augmented Reality and how does it work?”

When you add (or augment) elements that introduce the additional senses of feel and smell, the lines between CG and reality become blurred, but ‘Augmented Reality’ (A.R) definitely creates a very much more ‘real’ feel. By placing computer generated graphics in your field of vision in a real world scenario that involves all the senses, Augmented Reality enhances computer generated experiences. With the use of graphics, sounds, smell and feedback … tourists, shoppers, soldiers and gamers can all benefit by incorporating AR into their phones or games.

The thing about augmented reality is that when it superimposes graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment, it is in real time …and the augmented-reality systems of the future will even display graphics for each individual’s viewer’s perspective!

There are people developing applications and devices like ‘SixthSense,’ that will go way beyond the standard usage of AR now, but this is sometime in the future and will initially be for the privileged. For the average Joe, like you and me, the typical current kind of application available on i-phone and android phones is something like an app known as ‘Layar’ which allows you to use your camera and overlays information about the surroundings in which you find yourself …like distances, shops, available products (and for the advertiser, even available specials!) etc. Take it a step further and a phone pointed at a building could even tell you which companies are in a building, what they do and if they are hiring!

3D images have seen games taken to another dimension, including the controversial ‘Pokémon go’ game that incorporates 3D images into a real life scenario. Imagine the power of building your brand by having your logo pop up right at the point of the purchase decision?

We have just touched on some of the applications, but more can be learned and gained by contacting a good digital marketing company who can advise you on whether this is an option that can best serve your overall online marketing campaign. We hope that this has, if even in a very basic sense, helped you to understand what Augmented Reality is and how it works?