We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Technology

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Are the Different Types of Augmented Reality Tools?

Daniel Liden
By
Updated: Feb 12, 2024

Augmented reality, or AR, tools are devices and software intended to enhance the human experience of reality, normally by providing more information about one's surroundings. Such devices or software must be able to directly augment one's perception of reality to be considered "augmented reality tools," so information in books or in a web browser is not considered reality-augmenting. Applications for smartphones, tablets, and other devices can provide an augmented reality experience by providing real-time, location-specific information about one's surroundings. This information is shown on the device's screen over a rapidly-updating image of one's surroundings as captured by the device's camera. More advanced augmented reality tools are often featured in science fiction books, movies, and video games and may take the form of advanced devices or bodily modifications.

Almost all augmented reality tools are characterized by a few defining traits. They all update in real-time according to changes in the spatial relationship between the environment and the user of the tool. Such tools are always based in reality and are intended to enhance one's perception of reality, as opposed to some other forms of mediated reality and virtual reality. The information provided by such tools is usually explicitly related to the purpose of the tool or application and is not just arbitrary information about one's surroundings. A phone application intended to find restaurants, for instance, likely only highlights restaurants on the phone's screen as one points one's phone down the street.

Modern augmented reality tools use a range of different methods to provide information about one's surroundings. Most must be linked to some kind of global positioning satellite system in order to provide environment-specific information. In general, such augmented reality tools are also connected to the Internet, as various online services are generally necessary for providing the desired information. Augmented reality is used for a few other purposes, such as smartphone games that implement various aspects of reality or television channels that provide scores and other information over live sporting events.

Many types of augmented reality tools are featured in science fiction books, movies, and video games and may provide insight into the direction of augmented reality tools. Many science fiction characters have glasses or helmets with a "heads-up display" or HUD that provides real-time information about their environment, communications, health, and other concerns. Others have direct neural or optical implants that augment their perceptions of reality. In some stories, these technologies are relatively widespread, while in others they are only relegated to specialized uses.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Daniel Liden
By Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to his work. With a diverse academic background, he crafts compelling content on complex subjects, showcasing his ability to effectively communicate intricate ideas. He is skilled at understanding and connecting with target audiences, making him a valuable contributor.
Discussion Comments
Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to...
Learn more
Share
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.