Types of Augmented Reality – A Quick Read Guide

Why take a moment to understand types of augmented reality? To understand AR and its potential it’s a great time to take a few minutes to understand the AR technology on offer.

There are four types of augmented reality technology and they all have the same concept surrounding them. That is, to enhance a user’s surrounding environment using computer-based images. 

Of course, each type of AR technology comes with their own varying differences, which make them different from one another. 

Let’s run through those four types…


Different Types of Augmented Reality

Each of the four AR types will bring their own differences…


Marker-Based Augmented Reality

Marker-based augmented reality is one of the most common augmented reality types. This type of augmented reality is made to work when a camera/app is scanned over a visual marker. A prime example of a visual marker being a QR code or a 2D code. 

This code will then show examples of a real-world object on a user device when the code is scanned. For example Coca-Cola, in theory, could setup a QR code on each of their products. So, when a user scans this code they can see examples of every other product Coca-cola make. This is a perfect advertising opportunity for a business of the size of Coca-cola. 

A great example from AR use comes, in fact, from Coke: their ‘Share A Coke’ campaign in Australia, where a QR code unlocked a song for the user on Spotify. Users were then able to create playlists.

Marker-based augmented reality is a wonderful technology because you can use it anywhere. You can apply it to advertising, teaching in schools and even for awareness campaigns. For example in learning, students could use iPads in the classroom to scan a code/marker and it can then play an AR video. 


Markerless Augmented Reality

Markerless augmented reality, is a type of AR still under intense development from the likes of Google and Apple. The technology uses a wide range of other technologies including GPS and other location tracking technology, built within devices to work to its full potential. 

When combined with Google Maps, for example, we could see this technology become a greater and greater part of life.

After all, it’s potential is very powerful. For example, in the future, users could potentially go onto maps with their devices camera and see all the different businesses and shops surrounding them. (Just like in the first image of this article). You could then click on one of them and it could show you reviews about the shop or restaurant, opening times, even what it sells. 

This could make life very easy when trying to find places to eat and shop close to you. How does it do this? Well, it offers information based on your location. And, yes, phone batteries will need to improve and fast!


Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality Example

Projection-Based Augmented Reality

Projection-based augmented reality is an unusual type of technology as it is very unique. You’d have guessed right if you though the technology uses projection, because it does. The only difference between this type of projection and normal projection is that, projection-based AR can detect touch and movement, to interact with programs.

How does it work? This technology projects artificial light onto surfaces by an application. Users can then interact with the light by touching ‘buttons’  which are just projected light. The application then recognises and senses the human touch by the altered projection (the shadow).

Laser plasma technology can also be used in this kind of AR technology, by projecting 3D images (holograms) into the air. 


Superimposition -Based Augmented Reality

Superimposition-based augmented reality is one of the most fun types of AR. Many companies have used this type of AR to help their customers feel more connected to their brand.

Well, this type of AR replaces images fully or partially on a device with objects. For instance Ikea is one of the companies to use this type of AR. Users can place objects within their screen (usually within a room), from the Ikea catalog. This is a great way to improve sales of a product and a fun and interactive way customers can see if they like a product without buying it. They can even see if  product suits a room. 

Augmented Reality – Ikea Place App

More Augmented Reality Articles… What is Augmented Reality? | Augmented Reality Examples | Augmented Reality Future Trends | Advertising with Augmented Reality

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