What Are the 5 Types of AR?

What Are the 5 Types of AR?

Augmented reality (AR) technology has rapidly evolved, merging digital content with the real world in increasingly innovative ways. This technology enhances the user’s perception of reality by superimposing digital information—such as visuals, sounds, or other sensory stimuli—onto their view of the real world. AR is utilised across various industries, including gaming, education, marketing, and healthcare, providing enriched interactive experiences. There isn’t just one type of augmented reality, although most people may not know there is a difference. Let’s explore the five types of AR and each one’s unique applications and benefits. 

1. Marker-Based AR

Marker-based AR, also known as Image Recognition AR, uses a camera to identify visual markers or images like QR codes to trigger digital content display. An augmented reality studio will use this type of AR in advertising and marketing, where scanning a marker can bring up promotional materials or even detailed product information. It is a widely used form of AR. For example, a magazine advertisement might include a QR code that, when scanned, overlays a 3D model of a product.

2. Markerless AR

In contrast to marker-based AR, markerless AR uses positional data from devices (such as GPS, accelerometers, and gyroscopes) to provide content relevant to the user’s location or activities. This form is particularly popular in mobile AR apps, where users can receive information or interactive experiences based on their immediate environment. Common applications include navigation aids, where street names and directions are superimposed over the live view of a road, and retail, where users can visualise furniture in their homes before making a purchase.

3. Projection-Based AR

Projection-based AR projects synthetic light onto physical surfaces, often allowing human interaction by detecting changes in the projected light. For example, a projected keyboard that lets you type on a flat surface can be used as a practical tool for computing on the go. This technology is also used in advanced manufacturing and health sectors, where it can guide workers or surgeons through complex tasks by projecting necessary information directly onto the work area.

4. Superimposition-Based AR

Superimposition-based AR replaces the original view with an augmented view, either partially or fully. This type of AR requires robust recognition capability, as it needs to replace the original view adequately with the augmented one. A common use is in the medical field, where superimposition-based AR can enhance a surgeon’s view during procedures by overlaying enhanced data over parts of the patient’s body, thereby improving precision during operations.

What Are the 5 Types of AR?

5. Outlining AR

Outlining AR is particularly useful in situations where precise physical boundaries must be recognised and highlighted. For instance, during driving in low-visibility conditions (such as fog or heavy rain), outlining AR can enhance a driver’s perception by outlining the edges of the road. This application of AR helps prevent accidents and improve overall road safety by augmenting the driver’s real-time environmental perception.

Each type of AR technology has specific uses that leverage augmented reality to enhance daily activities and complex tasks. For businesses looking to adopt AR technology, partnering with a proficient augmented reality studio can help effectively integrate these innovations to create impactful user experiences. As AR technology continues to evolve, its integration into various industries is expected to deepen, further blurring the lines between digital and physical worlds and creating new realms of possibility.