What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is an environment that includes both virtual reality and real-world elements. For instance, an AR user sees the real world but with the addition of computer generated images which are overlaid on various objects within the real world. They are still aware that they are in the real world as compared to the full immersion in a virtual world. They use a device such as a smartphone or a wearable device - complete with a webcam - which contains software that recognises an image and helps displays this onto an object.
How does it work?
Using a mobile application, a mobile phone's camera identifies and interprets a marker, often a target image. The software analyses the marker and creates a virtual image overlay on the mobile phone's screen, tied to the position of the camera. This means the app works with the camera to interpret the angles and distance the mobile phone is away from the marker. Due to the number of calculations a phone must do to render the image or model over the marker, often only smartphones are capable of supporting augmented reality with any success. Phones need a camera, and if the data for the AR is not stored within the app, a good 3G Internet connection.