DEFINITION of 'Augmented Reality'

Augmented reality is an enhanced version of the real physical world through the use of visual elements, sound or other sensory stimuli. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular. Amid the rise of data collection and analysis, one of augmented reality’s primary goals is to highlight specific features of the physical world, increase understanding of those features and derive smart and accessible insight that can be applied to real-world applications. Such big data can help inform companies' decision-making and gain insight into consumer spending habits, among others. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Augmented Reality'

Augmented reality continues to develop and become more pervasive among a wide range of applications. Since its conception, marketers and technology firms have had to battle the perception that augmented reality is little more than a marketing tool. However, there is evidence that consumers are beginning to derive tangible benefits from this functionality and expect it as part of their purchasing process. For example, some early adopters in the retail sector have developed technologies designed to enhance the shopping experience. By incorporating augmented reality into catalog apps, stores let consumers visualize how different products would look like in different environments. For furniture, shoppers point the camera at the appropriate room and the product appears in the foreground.

Elsewhere, augmented reality’s benefits could extend to the health care sector, where it could play a much bigger role. One way would be through apps that enable users to see highly detailed, 3-D images of different body systems when they hover their mobile device over a target image. For example, augmented reality could be a powerful learning tool for medical professionals throughout their training.

Some pundits have long-speculated that wearable devices could be a breakthrough for augmented reality. Whereas smartphones and tablets show a tiny portion of the user’s landscape, smart eyewear, for example, may provide a more complete nexus between real and virtual realms if it develops enough to become mainstream.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

Augmented reality uses the existing real-world environment and puts virtual information on top of it to enhance the experience. Conversely, virtual reality involves users inhabiting an entirely different environment altogether, notably a virtual one. Users may be immersed in an animated scene or an actual location that has been photographed and embedded in a virtual reality app. Through a virtual reality viewer, users can look up, down or any which way, as if they were physically there.

  1. Virtual Office

    A virtual office gives businesses a physical address and office-related ...
  2. Virtual Currency

    Virtual currency is a form of digital currency that represents ...
  3. Second Life Economy

    The Second Life economy is a vibrant marketplace where virtual ...
  4. Convertible Virtual Currency

    Convertible virtual currency is an unregulated digital currency ...
  5. Smart Assets (Cryptocurrency)

    Smart Assets are virtual representations of both physical and ...
  6. Mobile First Strategy

    Mobile first strategy is trend in website development where designing ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    How Pokemon Go Uses Augmented Reality

    Pokemon Go made it that much easier to illustrate a use case for augmented reality.
  2. Tech

    Is Apple Making An Augmented Reality Product?

    Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an ABC interview this morning that he prefers AR to VR. Does this mean Apple is making an AR product?
  3. Tech

    Oculus Rift: Facebook Plans To Teleport You By 2025

    Facebook wants to teleport you to your choice location with your friends. How does the social network plan to achieve this amazing feat?
  4. Investing

    Snapchat Spectacles: The Next Big Thing?

    Snapchat's spectacles sell for up to $2,000 each on eBay. While not augmented reality, the glasses are cool - something Google Glass wasn't
  5. Tech

    10 Stocks That Stand to Benefit From the Rise of Virtual Reality

    Earlier attempts at virtual reality failed, but 2016 promises to usher in a new generation of virtual reality technology that could achieve mass adoption.
  6. Investing

    Snap Working on Augmented Reality Glasses: Report

    Snap is reportedly working on a new version of its Spectacle sunglasses that has built-in AR.
  7. Tech

    Tim Cook Confirms Apple Working on Augmented Reality (AAPL)

    Tim Cook confirmed in an interview that Apple Inc, (AAPL) has been working intensively on Augmented Reality (AR).
  8. Investing

    Augmented Reality Gets Boost From Facebook, Snap

    AR is forecast to grow 30% this year thanks to Facebook's Stories and Snap's Snapchat lenses.
  9. Tech

    Investing in Virtual Reality: The Case for InvenSense Inc. (INVN)

    Despite slowed growth, investors bullish on InvenSense stock see the wearable technology maker riding the upcoming rise of an emerging AR/VR industry.
  10. Investing

    Why Apple's ARKit Could Be a Game Changer

    The augmented reality platform could transform the technology's prospects and Apple's revenue.
  1. How do Internet companies profit if they give away their services for free?

    Learn how companies in the Internet sector make a profit when service, content and user applications are offered at no cost ... Read Answer >>
  2. How big is the derivatives market?

    Learn how different calculations can reduce the estimate of the total derivatives market by as much as 90 to 95%. Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Portfolio

    A portfolio is a grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, also their mutual, exchange-traded ...
  2. Gross Profit

    Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs of making and selling its products, or the costs of ...
  3. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  4. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  5. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  6. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
Trading Center