Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

Augmented Reality (AR) may not be as exciting as a virtual reality roller coaster ride, but the technology is proving itself as a very useful tool in our everyday lives. From social media filters, to surgical procedures, AR is rapidly growing in popularity because it brings elements of the virtual world, into our real world, thus enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel. When compared to other reality technologies, augmented reality lies in the middle of the mixed reality spectrum; between the real world and the virtual world.

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

In order to understand how augmented reality technology works, one must first understand its objective: to bring computer generated objects into the real world, which only the user can see. In most augmented reality applications, a user will see both synthetic and natural light. This is done by overlaying projected images on top of a pair of see-through goggles or glasses, which allow the images and interactive virtual objects to layer on top of the user's view of the real world. Augmented Reality devices are often self-contained, meaning that unlike the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headsets, they are completely untethered and do not need a cable or desktop computer to function.