Wikipedia: “Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data”.
To us, Augmented Reality is embedding digital content in the real world to tell a wondrous story or to explain in detail what you see.
Augmented Reality is Google without words
Some people really know how to Google. They really know how to find stuff. Other people find themselves at a loss for words when trying to find out who created the painting they are looking at or how to find the right manual for their device. Augmented Reality is like Google without words. Just point your smartphone, or check with your glasses on. The technology will understand what you are looking at and will explain to you what you see. Or it will improve or enhance the world you experience. No words needed.
Augmented Reality as user interface to the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a trend where technology is becoming connected and smarter. But how will we interface with those smart devices? We don’t want extra buttons and complex procedures. We enjoy the simplicity of a great design. Augmented Reality will be the user interface to the Internet of Things. It will make sure that devices can have simple designs for everyday use and have an extended user interface with Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality, or AR for short, is a technology that takes a live camera feed and overlays digital images to blend the digital into the real world. When done right, you can create a magical world where the most fantastical scenes become possible realities.
Location-based augmented reality like Pokémon Go
AR uses different techniques to decide which content to show. It may use your geographical location, like Pokémon Go does using GPS coordinates. Or it may decide your location in a different way, e.g. with iBeacons or WiFi locator. A technique called geo-fencing is used to make sure that certain content is only available at predefined locations.
AR based on image recognition uses the image from your camera feed to decide which content to show. It may recognize images on paper but also real world objects under the right angle. Technology is evolving quickly into recognizing 3D objects as well as 2D images. While not as stable yet as 2D recognition, 3D recognition will recognize objects under any angle.
Digitally enhanced world
With Augmented Reality digital content is an overlay on the live camera feed. Currently a live camera feed is a 2D representation of the real world. Smart devices have no 3D cameras or depth sensors. Many techniques are used to simulate a 3D world with AR. After recognition a process called tracking is started. Tracking ensures that, once published, content stays at the same spot in the virtual world, no matter how you move your device.
Recognition and Tracking together form the basis of Augmented Reality.