Augmented reality is what it sounds like: reality, enhanced with interactive digital components. The most commonly used AR applications these days rely on smartphones to showcase the digitally augmented world: users can activate a smartphone’s camera, view the real world around them on the screen, and rely on an AR application to enhance that world in any number of ways via digital overlays:
Superimposing images, digital information and/or 3D models
Adding real-time directions
Altering the user or their environment’s appearance via “filters” on Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps
Various devices can display AR, and the list is only growing: screens, glasses, handheld and mobile devices, and head-mounted displays.
In understanding what AR is, it’s also important to understand what it is not.
AR is not a fully immersive experience like virtual reality (VR). While virtual reality requires users to don a special headset and pulls them into a completely digital world, AR lets them continue interacting with the physical world around them .
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