Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that combines digital information with the real-world environment to enhance or supplement existing reality. AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. By presenting information that is recognizably embedded in the user’s real environment, AR focuses the user’s attention while actually enhancing the environment with virtual information.

In contrast to virtual reality (VR), which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. AR applications can be found in numerous fields and industries, including entertainment, gaming, engineering, tourism, advertising, medical, military and much more.

Though AR was mainly developed as a research project in the 1990’s, it has become a key component of modern computer platforms, which offer an increasing number of AR programs and applications. Smartphones have been a key development for AR technology as mobile applications allow for a wide range of AR experiences.

AR is frequently used in gaming. It allow for a 360-degree immersive experience, where the virtual objects can move along with the player’s actions, which results in a more exciting game experience for the users.

A variety of brands are now offering “AR Ready” products that combine various digital technologies, such as sensors, cameras and displays, to create more interactive user experiences. AR software development kits such as ARCore and ARKit allow developers to create AR experiences for Android and iOS respectively.

AR technology is used in many other industries, such as e-commerce, online education, healthcare and retail. It enables businesses to offer customers a more engaging, interactive and personalized shopping experience with virtual product demonstrations and 3D simulations. In healthcare, AR is used to visualize medical information, aid in surgical guidance, and support training for medical professionals.

In the future, AR technology may become even more pervasive and deeply integrated into everyday life as the technology continues to develop and be adopted.

1. Techopedia – “What is Augmented Reality (AR)?”. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
2. K. D. Schillings (2020). “What Is Augmented Reality (AR)?”. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
3. A. Jones (2020). “Augmented Reality – What Is It and What Is Its Future?”. Forbes. Retrieved March 5, 2021.

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