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Many people have heard and perhaps experienced Virtual Reality before. Virtual Reality headsets are becoming more common across the globe for recreational use. This rise in popularity with Virtual Reality has driven attention to a new kind of reality, Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality or AR is different than Virtual Reality in a few ways. This article will describe what Augmented Reality is, how it is similar to Virtual Reality and the potential AR has to help solve real-world problems.


What Is Augmented Reality?

AR is defined as an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality. This definition can seem a bit intimidating. You can understand what AR is by comparing it to Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality requires you to step into an entirely new world to experience it, whereas AR uses the existing environment around you to adjust or advance your perception of whatever you are observing. There are many applications of AR that are being used today. An example of AR is when you want to find more information on a specific piece of art. That piece of art has a small barcode next to it. Smartphone users can take out their phones, take a picture of the barcode and instantly be transferred to an informational source giving them all valid information about the artwork.



AR is used for many different tasks and has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the world. AR has enormous beneficial implications for the healthcare industry. AR glasses, like Google Glass, can be utilized to pull up information like a patients medical records in real time to assist with patient management. Health professionals no longer have to access a records room or fumble through poorly labeled computer files to gain information on their patients.

AR has the potential to completely change the way construction operates. AR gives architects the ability to see their designs come to life right in front of them. AR can have blueprints of a building stored and eliminate the hassle of always having to refer back to them. Architects could construct their buildings through AR and know exactly what it will look like before construction begins.

AR has endless possibilities and it is likely that many jobs in the near future will require some form of AR to perform essential job duties.