Four Ways Augmented Reality Is Used Today

Until recently augmented reality was a concept only seen in sci-fi movies. Today its use is becoming more and more common in many different categories. In simple terms, augmented reality is superimposing a digital image onto an object in the real world. This technology has an incredible potential to impact fields from healthcare to education to finance, but we are seeing its influence in smaller ways right now. Here are a few ways that this fascinating technology is being used today.



The financial industry is just beginning to see the possible uses of AR in their sector. Some banks currently offer augmented enhancement of their credit cards that will show a customer their balance and other important account information when the credit card is viewed through a phone’s camera. It is becoming increasingly common for banks to offer AR apps to their customers that will impose the location of nearby automatic transaction machines over any local map on the customer’s digital devices. In the not-too-distant future, we may see digital bank deposits enhanced with saving and investment suggestions or an online paystub generator that supplements the information customers provide with an ongoing picture of year-end tax calculations.


Real Estate

This is a business that has started using AR in a wide variety of interesting ways such as virtual tours that give shoppers dimensional or amenities information overlaid on images of individual rooms. Additionally, some real estate companies offer apps to their customers that allow them to capture an image of any property for sale and immediately view essential information about the property such as price, mortgage information, and footage details.


Beauty and Fashion

Many companies in these industries are starting to use digital augmentation to help online customers gain a clearer view of how items such as eyeglasses or shoes will look on them in the real world. Virtual makeup tutorials allow shoppers to use AR to get a clearer vision of how makeup products will look on their own faces. In the field of hairstyling, this technology is used to provide a realistic estimation of how a particular hairstyle or color will look on an individual customer before any permanent alterations are actually made.



Not surprisingly, augmented reality is being used widely in the video game business. From Nintendo’s use of AR cards for their 3DS to the recent phenomenon of Pokemon Go, the use of AR in video games is becoming increasingly common. As virtual reality technology becomes more and more refined, it is not a stretch of the imagination to envision AR replacing VR before too long.

Disney has been using world effects in their parks for years. In Epcot, you can tour the park and participate in a Phineas and Ferb adventure that mixes animatronics and augmented reality. They also make extensive use of photo filters in the pictures taken by park photographers. These give Disney guests photos in which they appear to be interacting with a variety of fantastical characters.

Speaking of photos, a common form of augmented reality is the ever-popular photo filter. Using these fun apps to share silly pictures with friends and families has become a universal activity. Just as popular are the creative and often hilarious augmented videos that have become synonymous with Instagram. Interest in using these simple filters shows no sign of fading, causing other major social media platforms to scramble to catch up with Instagram’s lead in AR usage.

Currently, the use of augmented reality remains somewhat superficial, focusing on entertainment and non-essential services, but the depth of possibility with this technology has not yet been tapped. The future of AR in the education field could create completely new ways to engage and differentiate teaching to specific populations of students. The use of this kind of innovation in the healthcare industry could save lives as doctors gain the ability to diagnose more accurately with less invasive interventions. It is difficult to know today the full impact that augmented reality technology will have on a wide range of essential services, but it is likely to be life-altering in its scope.