A Simple Guide to Augmented Reality Apps

Although Augmented Reality (AR) has been around and out for years, many still have no idea what it is all about. Augmented reality is a term coined to refer to a technology that integrates the natural or physical environment with added or augmented layers of digital information such as graphics, videos, and enhanced sounds and motion feedbacks. In other words, it improves one’s perception of the existing environment.

Augmented reality was first developed in 1968 but was technically recognized as AR during the 1990s through the work of Thomas Caudell and David Mizell. In today’s age, many companies like web design company Manchester use augmented reality for varied purposes.

Handheld devices, glasses, cellular phones, and screens can display augmented reality. They use Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology, depth tracking sensors for distance measurement of objects, and some other components. Cameras with sensors are used for scanning the physical information of the user’s environment to produce a 3-dimensional model of the surroundings. A processor is also employed for computing the speed, orientation, and other functions. AR also uses a projector to forecast into view the digital content after processing. Lastly, a reflector that utilizes mirrors is attached to support the user’s eyes in viewing graphics and for accurate image alignment of the virtual images.

Types of Augmented Reality

As mentioned earlier, augmented reality has countless applications. But the capacity of an AR is limited to the category it is designed for. Web design company Manchester creates their AR applications’ design on the type of augmented reality type its clients wish to achieve.

Marker Based Augmented Reality, also known as Image Recognition, operates with the aid of sensors and cameras as a visual marker. Example of this type of AR is the QR or 2D Code. The camera scans and distinguishes a marker from the actual or real objects. Markers are usually simple patterns for easy detection of the sensor.

Another type is Markerless Augmented Reality. Unlike the marker-based AR, this does not need patterns for distinction. It uses technologies such as GPS, accelerometer, and etc to provide data on the user’s location. It is widely used for businesses.

The third common type of AR is the Projection-Based Augmented Reality. The name itself suggests its function. It projects an artificial light to the surrounding surface or the user’s preferences.

Last is the Superimposition Based Augmented Reality. This is more complex because it either fully or partly substitutes the real view of the selected objects with a new and augmented one.

Augmented Reality Apps in the Market

Giant IT companies are making a huge amount of profit from augmented reality’s prospective retail and sales with the advantage of the demand and popularity of smartphones worldwide. AR now has a huge influence in planning and marketing that is why web design company Manchester offers assistance to upgrade and par with the business trend that uses the benefit of augmented reality.

Listed are some of the best augmented reality apps that are free and available for smartphones in the market.


If you are into sketching and drawing whether professionally or just a hobby, SketchAR might be for you. It is perfect for practicing your drawing skills also. Plot figures on a piece of paper and use SketchAR to view your sketch. Although it is a little awkward to hold a phone on one hand and a pen on the other, there’s no harm in trying especially if the result of it is automatically digitalized on your phone.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is one of the most popular AR apps available in the market. Players need to go around and hunt for the Pokemons and catch them. GPS is used to track your location while the camera is employed to show where is the specific Pokemon can be found.

Ink Hunter

If you are still not sure which part of your body you want to put your tattoo, Ink Hunter lets you see first what it would look like once you get that tattoo design of your choice to your desired part. It saves you from the regret of wishing you should have chosen to put the tattoo on your chest instead of on your left arm.

Wikitude World Browser

Wikitude World Browser is a popular app used for its ability to provide geographic assistance and information on where to find places you need to locate when traveling. It uses the phone’s camera in scanning the surroundings or a particular area before providing the information you are looking for. It also presents its built-in games for your entertainment.

There are more augmented reality applications in the market. If you wish to create your own AR app, you can seek service from web designers and web design company Manchester to get you started.