Augmented reality simply does what it says, it augments the ‘real reality’, the real world. Contrarily to VR, which creates a whole new reality that blanks out the real world, in AR, users’ eyes see the real world but that real world is complemented with pop up information.
The AR content is technically hidden and to be visualised people need an enhancement device which can either be a pair of smart glasses, smart contact lessees, a smartphone or other mobile devices.
That superimposed information can span from GPS directions, pop-up information in newspaper articles, to touristic sites subtitles or even on-the-go retail discounts.
The use of AR is also set to change the gaming industry. Users are now able to play their games on their phone, mixing the physical world with the virtual one to create the augmented reality experience.
For example, Ingress is an AR 3D game that allows several players, or ‘agents’, to play together from different parts of the world. It mixtures real and augmented reality. The goal is to collect as many ‘portals’ as possible across different sites, these being monuments, etc.