The different types of augmented reality (AR) for smartphones include applications for travel, education, entertainment, and social networking. Augmented reality technology can also be added to mobile web browsers for enhanced search results. Many people use augmented reality for smartphones to find geographic directions, learn extra information about their surroundings, and to look up data such as pricing about a product. These types of mediated reality are generally designed for both convenience and a digitally-enhanced experience of daily life.
Augmented reality allows users to see and hear sensory input, such as graphics, sound recordings, and pictures directly tied to a certain location. While some software applications may have different focuses and subject matter, connecting to augmented reality for smartphones is relatively simple. Users with access to a wireless network are usually able to see different information about buildings or other address locations around them. This type of augmented reality for smartphones can often be helpful for getting maps and directions in unfamiliar towns or cities.
Other kinds of augmented reality for smartphones have educational possibilities. Astronomy enthusiasts often use AR technology on a smartphone to view charts of constellations simply by holding their phones up to the night sky. This kind of artificial information can potentially give smartphone users access to a wide range of data when they are away from a standard desktop or laptop computer. While some AR applications need a wireless Internet connection to work correctly, many also have the option of saving the needed data for offline use.
Gaming is another area of possibility when it comes to augmented reality for smartphones. A few types of shooter games superimpose targets on the players' surroundings, and the object is to hit them with a virtual weapon by pressing an assigned smartphone button. Although this general concept of an augmented reality game is not brand new, it allows gamers to play in the environments they choose without the need for virtual reality helmets, glasses, or other types of equipment.
Fans of social networking can also use augmented reality for smartphones to keep their favorite site profiles updated while they are on the go. Many location-based AR applications have social media features that allow users can find and recommend various businesses by pointing their smartphones at a certain building and viewing informative graphics about it. These graphics can also include reviews, notes, maps, or snapshots that other members have posted about the same location.