What is Augmented Reality?

From Wikipedia

Augmented Reality (AR) is a live, copy, 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. 

As we at Mobile Jazz are focused mainly on mobile technology, we define AR as using the mobile phone’s display to show real-time information and imagery over the physical world as captured by the device’s camera.

Common AR types

Augmented Reality can be used in different scenarios and using different device capabilities. In the mobile world there mostly two types of AR as explained here:

Geolocation-based AR

This AR type uses the GPS chip on the device to detect the phone’s position and to show information based on the user’s location. This type of AR is used to show important information related to the proximity of the user, to improve the way the users search for items around him or to provide additional information about certain locations. Example applications that use geolocation-based AR are:

Wikitude: http://www.wikitude.com/app/

Explore what’s around you. Find new and interesting places, events, and activities.

mixare: http://www.mixare.org/

Augmented reality browser that shows shows Wikipedia articles and Tweets around you in the camera view.

Image-recognition based AR

This AR type is based on image recognition algorithms. The device uses the camera to find visual patterns (called markers) to then display overlay information above those markers.

This type of AR has experienced a big growth in the recent years especially for marketing purposes. A lot of brands use this kind of Augmented Reality to bring their print advertisement to a new and more engaging level. Some famous examples are:

IKEA 2004 Catalog: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ikea-catalog/id386592716?mt=8

The users have the ability to place selected furniture from the catalog in their own rooms.

Layar: https://www.layar.com/products/app/

Brings print to life with entertaining digital content, including videos, photo slideshows and direct links to buy products or to share them on social media.

Audi R8 Catalog

Augmented Reality Brochure



If you are interested in the world of Augmented Reality make sure check out the following websites:

Introduction and comparison to AR frameworks

In the next post it gets a bit more technical as we’ll follow up with an introduction and comparison of the various Augmented Reality frameworks available in the wild. Stay tuned.

Jordi Giménez

Jordi has worked as a project manager, developer and security analyst in web, iOS and Android. He’s worked for companies big and the small in government, banking, insurance, healthcare and IT.