Augmented Reality & its Types: Know the Techniques Running Behind

Augmented Reality is the technology of the present and the future where its applications occupy a broad space in any industry we see today. Many companies are betting on technology whereas for many it is still a great unknown.

For unaware people let’s share some amazing facts about AR and get them familiar about its expanding domain:

  • The year 2020 possesses 1Billion augmented reality users.
  • The AR market occupies the current value of $3.5 Billion and is expected to reach $18 Billion in 2023.
  • Facebook, the Overlord, is one of the biggest investors in Augmented Reality.
  • 70% of the consumers keep faith in AR and believe that technology can aid them to learn exceptional personal/professional skills.
  • 67% of media planners and marketers desire to add AR/VR ads in their digital marketing campaigns.
  • Augmented Reality is predicted to put a bigger impact on mobiles against Virtual reality.


Augmented Reality contains information and digital objects in the physical space. With Augmented Reality, the digital world becomes real within what you capture with your cell phone or tablet.

This reality combines physical and virtual elements, the virtual image compliments the real one to provide more information. It integrates virtual elements into the environment that surrounds us. Thus, to enrich reality, it is necessary to have content that stars in the experience.

The basic principles on how it works are it combines real and virtual images, happens in real-time, and is projected as a 3D image. For example, imagine you are walking down the street and you focus with your mobile phone at a shop window. In doing so, not only the image of the clothing is projected on the screen of the device, but also much more information along with it like price, available colors, size or previews of other brand clothing.

Now that’s what is Augmented Reality!
Technology that transforms our physical world, changing the perception of reality.

Augmented Reality: Significant Characteristics

-It is a technology that superimposes virtual elements on the real image.
-It allows you to interact with it in real-time. The actions carried out by the user have a direct consequence on the recreation of the reality that is displayed.
-The image is projected in 3D so that it appears to acquire the physical capabilities or proportions of the environment.
-It is related to the context, that is, the information that appears on the device that has to do with what we see with our own eyes.

Augmented Reality: Levels

There are different levels of augmented reality as per its complexity or fusion with reality.

Level 0

Physical World Hyper Linking or linked to the physical world
This level is characterized by the use of 2D images as barcodes that serve as links to other content. It is the most basic form of augmented reality.

Level 1

Marker Based Augmented Reality or AR with markers
Applications are used that can recognize simple 2D or 3D patterns, such as black and white figures, shapes, or schematic drawings.

Level 2

AR without Markers or markerless augmented reality
They do not need markers but use systems such as the digital compass to know the user’s location and project virtual images of interest in everyday reality.

In this type of AR, the user moves objects within their visibility and they decide where to put the virtual objects. Applications used to decorate houses set the best example of AR without markers.

This type of AR is used for applications that do not require a real-world anchor. This means that virtual objects will float in the air, although it is also possible to integrate 3D objects on a flat surface to increase realism, say, to put a computer on a desk.

Level 3

Augmented Vision
These are high-tech devices that allow a totally immersive experience fused with reality.

[Prefer Reading: “What are the Challenges Faced by Augmented reality App Developers?”]

Augmented Reality: Categories As per its Use

Augmented Reality can also be classified according to the technology it uses. Here we will analyze AR using markers, tangible objects, smart terrain, or geolocation.

#1 With Markers

The markers are symbols that are placed on flat surfaces as a bar-code or a QR code. When the mobile device focuses on the marker, the application recognizes it and projects the virtual information on the real image that is displayed on the device.

There are markers with different levels of complexity. For example, some only allow virtual information to be displayed when the device is focused on the marker; others, on the other hand, save that virtual information and allow you to continue seeing it when the device focuses on another part.

#2 Through Tangible Objects

It’s one of the less common forms of augmented reality which is not based on markers but on the recognition of real objects. So devices with high processing power are needed.

#3 Smart Terrain

The smart terrain technology is capable of converting everyday objects into any type of setting, and even allows interaction with the virtual image. It allows us to create completely new complex interactive environments through a real image.

Check out how the Vuforia Smart Terrain
feature tends to enrich the digital experience.

#4 By Geolocation

You’ve surely heard of the Pokemon Go phenomenon!

Well, it’s an application that uses the geolocation augmented reality system which is supported by the data from GPS, internet, and artificial intelligence that allows virtual information to be accessed from anywhere on the planet.
[One of the first games to use this system was Ingress ].

The augmented reality based on geolocation anchors the AR and its content to a specific location. Imagine that you are walking through the city where the streets do not seem familiar to you, with the help of your phone’s camera you will be able to see traffic signs showing the name of the street.


This is AR with geolocation.

[Prefer Reading: “Augmented Reality in Retail: Customer Experience Taken to the Next Level.”]

A Summarized View of Advantages and Disadvantages of Augmented Reality


-it is a technology that can be applied to a large number of sectors: commerce, leisure, health, education, tourism, etc.

-It facilitates training, thanks to much more versatile and attractive learning.

-It provides a large amount of information which is also accessible to anyone, anywhere.

-Optimize tasks and minimize costs.

-It allows you to develop marketing campaigns based on experience.

-It offers an immersive experience that offers user identification.

-Increase sales of businesses and shops, thanks to its powerful impact.

-It’s the technology of the future that gives an avant-garde image and innovation.


Not everything is going to be advantageous. Take a rundown at its disadvantages:

-High implementation costs

-Collecting the virtual information that is offered, requires time and effort.

-Expert professionals in the field are needed to develop the applications.

-In some cases, it is required to have devices with great speed and processing capacity.

-You run the risk of focusing on technology and forgetting about the customer.

-Relationships are becoming more superficial and virtual than personal.

-There is still a great ignorance of this technology by an important part of the population.

Companies Betting on Augmented Reality

We have already talked about multiple examples of projects and companies that are betting on augmented reality. Among them are some of the most important in the world:

[Prefer Reading: “How Augmented Reality is Likely to Improve Healthcare?”]

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