What is AR?

Augmented Reality or AR for short is a way to overlay digital content over the real world. AR is not just one thing, there are many sub-genres of augmenting reality!

Augmented Reality – what is it actually?

Augmented Reality, or AR for short means overlaying or augmenting something digital on “top” of something real and viewing the whole experience in sync through a viewer of some sort.

At the moment, mobile devices are the most common AR-viewer, but different types of headset-solutions are slowly gaining popularity. At flyAR we focus mainly on mobile AR solutions.

Augmented Reality can roughly be divided into five categories according to the tracking type; i.e. what kind of reality is the augmented content anchored to; image-tracking, plane-tracking, Spatial AR Cloud tracking, object-tracking and face-tracking. At flyAR, we focus mainly on spatial-, plane- and image-trackin augmented reality solutions. To multiply the possibilities of AR even more, the overlaid augmented content can be almost anything digital.

Most commonly used digital content types

3D models
3D models are a very common content type for AR-experiences. 3D content can be animated or static and the animations can also be triggered by user actions. 3D models can be used to show something big in small scale (like an new building or city plan) or to show something microscopic in bigger size (like small components or molecules), we are not bound by physics in the traditional sense! We have done several “living scale model” types of projects and they are lot’s of fun.
Video is quite self-explanatory but AR should not be used for a purely video-based project. Video-content is a good addition to a multimedia AR-experience, but for showing long videos we can introduce you to YouTube. For AR-use, videos should be kept short and concise, eg. teaser-videos or short instructional videos can be good additions.
360-images or videos are a versatile and immersive way of showing locations or spaces. 360-content is highly informational as they allow the user to “look around” the image by moving their device. A good use case for 360 as part of an AR-experience could be a 3D-model of a building with buttons that open up a 360-view from a certain room (or different rooms) in that building.
This is text. If you are reading this, you probably know what text is and how it can be used to deliver information 🙂 Small textual infos are a good way of telling more about relevant things. Quite often we include “info buttons” that open up short texts when tapped.
Real-time data
It is possible to “fetch” real-time data from the cloud and present it as part of AR-content. One cool use-case would be to show real time data visualised, for example interactive and animated 3D-charts or graphs…
We have not yet mastered the dark arts but still do our best to make our AR-experiences appear slightly magical to the user. Good AR is not about the technology used but about how the content works together and that is our secret ingredient. Content is key.