Chances are you’ve already applied augmented reality to your daily activities at some point, and if not you, then your kids definitely have.

But how does augmented reality work, exactly, and what is it capable of achieving?

With so much technology available these days, it can get downright confusing — and even frustrating — to sift through all the options to find the application that fits your needs.

How does AR work, and what can it do for you? 

We share everything you need to know about augmented reality and how it might be the technology that could launch your organization into the future of tech and give you an edge over the competition.

Table of Contents

how ar works

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

Augmented reality is a technology that allows users to superimpose images, text, or sound — and any other digital content — over their existing reality.

AR is quickly becoming mainstream and can be seen in common everyday apps, such as:

  • Pokemon Go
  • Snapchat
  • Knightfall
  • SkyView
  • AR-assisted walking directions
  • Ikea Place
  • And many more

But, how do augmented reality apps work? 

When users activate their smartphone cameras, they have a view of the world around them, and the AR app enhances the world by:

  • Changing colors or rearranging furniture
  • Inserting labels
  • Showing real-time directions; and
  • Superimposing images

Unlike virtual reality (VR), augmented reality does not fully immerse the user in the experience as users continue to interact with their physical surroundings when using AR technology.

While most AR applications today are available through mobile devices, hands-free wearables will become increasingly popular — think Google Glass, which is now frequently utilized in the medical field.

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of deployment or you’ve already implemented AR strategies — Running Bull Media can help. 

We’d love to have a conversation with you about scheduling a demo to show you how AR technology can drive your business forward on any budget.

how does ar work

The 3 Key Capabilities of AR

AR technology is ever-evolving, and it’s expected to continue to change the way we: 

  • Interact with the world around us
  • How we form decisions
  • How we learn

Most people are familiar with how AR entertainment applications work, but what’s truly remarkable is how AR is transforming the business world by combining the physical and the digital and revolutionizing the way we process information.

#1: Visualization

If anything can be compared to superhero powers, it’s augmented reality. AR gives users the sensation of having x-ray vision. 

Information is delivered to users by visualizing the real world while revealing digital details that allow users to see how an object may fit into the real world or how something works within the real world.

Not only does visualization increase retention by 29-42%, but it enhances hand-eye-mind connections that allow users to recall facts better.

This makes AR a game-changer in fields including:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Public safety
  • Entertainment
  • Marketing
  • Retail
  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • And more

Augmented reality is a powerful tool that will provide your audience with the ability to conceptualize, interact, and collaborate in the most innovative way.

#2: Instruction and Guidance

AR has already begun redefining how institutions and companies train, coach, and give instructions. 

These functions are essential components to workforce productivity, but the traditional approach can not only be costly to any organization, but it also delivers inconsistent results.

Imagine how much easier it would be for professionals in the trades, such as automotive or manufacturing, if written instructions were a thing of the past. 

The time-consuming task of reading manuals or watching instructional videos is being replaced with step-by-step digital instructions that overlay real-world surroundings.

Now, picture how AR is already rapidly evolving in the field of medicine. 

The technology allows patient information and medical imaging data to be superimposed on the patient during an operation, giving surgeons a navigation system of sorts. Not only does this improve the overall safety during surgery, but it drastically reduces the risks of complications.

AR is quickly becoming the mainstream in education and instruction with applications in every field.

how augmented reality works

#3: Interaction

AR creates a binding interaction with its users through: 

  • Attention  
  • Emotion; and 
  • Memory encoding  

Not only is AR increasing what we remember with each interaction, but it’s also creating an emotional experience that can be quite persuasive. 

When a brand uses AR as part of its story, the emotional response elicits a binding interaction which increases the likelihood that the user will want to purchase the service or product being offered.

Take IKEA’s AR application, for example, which allows users to scale IKEA furniture products based on their surrounding dimensions with 98% accuracy, making it easy for users to imagine the product in their own home. 

The user interface takes the AR experience to a different level by causing an emotional response, which in turn leads consumers to feel more connected to the product and more likely to buy.

3 Ways How AR Works to Create Value for Your Organization

AR can create limitless value for your business, but to sum it up in two broad ways, augmented reality will:

  1. Essentially become a part of the very product you’re selling; and
  2. Improve overall value chain performance in areas such as:
    • Product development
    • Manufacturing
    • Marketing and sales
    • Customer service
    • Virtual events
    • And so much more

#1 AR as a Product Feature

Rather than AR as the be-all and end-all of an app, presenting the technology as a feature within an app allows users to see the value in the product instead of confusing your customers with unfamiliar tech.

Let’s consider Amazon’s entry to AR within its ultra-popular addition of “AR View” into the mobile shopping app. Much like IKEA’s AR app, it enables users to digitally place a piece of furniture from the store into their real-time location before buying. 

Gone are the days of hoping that what you purchase online will actually be a fit. Now, you can “see,” through augmented technology, how that item will really look in your space.

However, as we mentioned, companies need to have multiple points of entry for the user within the tool, as it won’t always provide a relational context.

#2 AR for Manufacturing

Using augmented reality in manufacturing, whether on the assembly line or within control systems, will improve productivity and enhance efficiency.

Just think of the possibilities. AR effectively eliminates costly errors by providing step-by-step information to factory workers during the manufacturing process, which is otherwise incredibly complex, requiring even thousands of steps.

AR can also be used to capture valuable information from control systems making it possible to monitor and diagnose data related to any process or machine. This can potentially save millions in costly downtime by enabling factory and repair crew to do proactive maintenance.

#3 AR for Marketing and Sales

When used in showrooms and product demos, AR allows customers to virtually see how a product will work in a real-life situation before they buy.

Customers are not only more likely to feel confident about their decision to purchase a product if their expectations are realistic, but they’ll also experience better product satisfaction.

Companies gain the ability, through AR technology, to give context to a larger purchase that may otherwise have a longer sales and commitment period. 

For example, a roofing company that can virtually show customers what different shingle styles and colors will look like on their building will reduce the uncertainty many customers face when making an expensive purchase and ultimately shorten the sales cycle.

what is augmented reality and how does it work

Learn More About How Augmented Reality Works and How Running Bull Media Can Implement an AR Strategy for Your Company

With more than a decade of experience designing AR, VR, and MR experiences, Running Bull Media is able to guide you through the AR experience that’s right for your company.

We deliver the entire XR experience, from:

  • Virtual Events: Eliminating Zoom fatigue by engaging your prospects and customers in a more immersive experience that leads to increased interaction and focus.
  • Virtual Tours: Give your company a competitive advantage, increase customer engagement, and drive revenue by adding virtual tours to your website.
  • XR Training: Learning and development are quickly stagnating as remote education and training become the norm. Multiplayer experiences allow organizations to move beyond Zoom and PowerPoint by engaging their people in a virtual environment to tackle a time-sensitive and stressful task.
  • Retail Experiences: Walk your customers through an augmented reality buying experience and allow them to see how your products fit into their lives.
  • Product Demos: Transport prospects into an environment that mirrors your organization and allows them to interact with products, building out the space within their virtual world.

We’ll create customized experiences, using AR, VR, or MR, that push the boundaries of your industry and put your company at the forefront of the latest technology.

Contact us today. We make anything possible.

how does ar work