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Augmented Reality Tutorial For Beginners

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Augmented reality for beginners

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A blend of the virtual and real-world? Augmented Reality is a futuristic new style of technology, that gives the users the sense of being a character in a real-life video game in an everyday setting. Want to catch monsters in the local area? Well now you can, advancements in technology make it possible to access this from your smartphone.

Augmented Reality, so how does it work?

When using an app that has augmented reality (AR), the camera on your smart device (must have a camera) identifies specialised markers. It then interprets them in the app as to where to place things on the screen.

You'll need to use a smartphone or device. These devices can support the AR software requirements. You will also need a device that can connect to 3G or 4G internet, the connection must also be strong.

Benefits of Augmented Reality Devices

There are many benefits to using augmented reality. Some benefits for companies are saving money on training costs. They can give personalised support for staff members, too.

Devices such a Google Glass are being used in surgery to direct doctors in performing complex surgeries already.

Need to train staff that are always on the go? AR glasses could be a great option for onsite training with remote access. With notifications going straight to the wearer, you can practically get to all members of staff and get to locations that may previously have been unreliable. There is something very futuristic about this piece of tech. It gives the user a unique experience whether it is used for work or for recreational use.

Augmented glasses allow the wearer to upload their own media that they have created. As the wear has created the media, it is more personal and interesting to view rather than the programmed interactions it is built-in with.

Youll be able to interact with a high-quality hologram in AR with AR apps that you can download into the device. Its a great way to learn as well, with training be given to remote staff members as well as new ways of learning as a personal user as well.

AR Reality Headsets

Wearable computers? Augmented Reality is now a wearable piece of kit that lets you see all your notifications and take photos all in the size of a pair of glasses.

Computer-generated information in front of your eyes! Glasses have a few options on how they are made and what integrations they have. Controls could be speech, hand gestures or touch control.

Here is a list of some of the best augmented reality glasses out there:

Google Glass

We cant talk about augmented reality without mentioning one of the market leaders – Google Glass. This delicate mounted display projects information to be displayed right in front of you. The device is synced to your mobile smartphone and allows users to check for missed call, messages, emails the weather and location without hand gestures.

You can even pair the device with apps that can be used for videos or taking photos.

What's good about it?

Much like using hands-free on your phone, the Google Glass device works as a device that you can wear. You can make and take phone calls, listen to music and check everyday tasks are completed without lifting a finger.

Apps that can be used with the device are GoogleNow, SwingByte and GolfSite. Most mobile operating systems can be used too, including iOS Android and Blackberry.

What's not so good?

There is s a drawback with the Google Glasses that they can record video and take photos of those around the wearer without other people knowing or even noticing. So the user must use them lawfully when they are on. Always asking permission of the person that is being filmed and or taken a photo of, or you as the user could be breaking the law.

This device comes with a high distraction risk, as the user will experience non-stop ads, virtual pop-ups and notifications. This is particularly dangerous when driving and has seen wearers becoming anti-social to the real world. Winning big money at an online casino also seems afar for the Google Glass.

The price is very steep as well and it's not easy to get hold of a pair either, with limited sales of the device.

Microsoft HoloLens

These glasses from Microsoft allow the wearer to walk around and interact with various virtual objects. The HoloLens should be on the wishlist for aspiring designers and gamers alike, and anyone who would want to be able to play with colourful holographic images!

What's good about?

You can, as a user interact with holographic images that are realistic to the eye. The device is easy to use and responds to both swiping motions with your hands and voice commands.

What isn't so good?

The weight is heavy considering the size of it, wearers may find that they become uncomfortable and may even develop headaches after extended use. They don't fit particularly well either and need constant readjustments. One problem that users have previously mentioned is the limitations of view it is only about 15 inches or a standard computer monitor size.

Vuzix M300

Vuzix released augmented reality glasses called the Vuzix M300, powered by an Intel Atom Processor, equipped with GPS, a HD camera, Bluetooth and MicroSD and USB slots.

The design is android based and has a lot of apps that can track and trace events, link to your calendar from your phone once you've synced them together.

What's good about it?

It has interchangeable batteries to save on the ones that are running low, you just exchange batteries. The batteries in the larger form have about 12 hours run time.

This model – M300 is dust and water-resistant and can be dropped from a height of around 8 feet without damage.

There are many core features that have been built-in. These glasses can record video, take photos and follow your calendar for upcoming events.

Although the M300 is android based it can be used on an iOS system as well. The device itself can be mounted on a normal pair of glasses which make them easy to use. They can be attached to hardhats as well.

What isn't so good?

Although they are fun to use and give the user a sense of being in the future with daily tasks – they are not designed for the everyday joe. The main audience with this model is for company use and simple wouldn't work for regular users as they are designed to work in conjunction with apps pre-built-in that the company they are assigned to already use.

They also have a short battery life, if you do not have the larger upgrade batteries and only work for 2 hours at a time.

Best Augmented Reality Games

The world has been changed by AR games, particularly since the incredible release to the Pokemon Go game. The market has since grown with loads of different types of games that capture the real world with added extras. You’ll be able to transport yourself in your free time to a reality that is accessible from your phone. See below for a list of some of the best AR games out there!

Pokémon Go

July of 2016 saw the summer of Pokemon fever, everyone was out trying to catch them all. The joint collaboration between Niantic, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company combined forces to create this childhood dream come true to finally be the very best.

It is one of the most popular AR games in the world, encouraging players to join teams and take over gyms in the local area, battle team rocket, trade pokemon and battle with friends, which is somewhat different to online poker.

Getting player outside to enjoy real-world locations with a buddy pokemon on their walk, more you walk the more you’ll get as a Pokemon trainer.

Real Strike

If you enjoy first-person shooters then this AR game is for you. Combining real-life environments with military bases and 3-D enemy animations. You have your choice of weapons and will need to shoot and reload when playing against people in real life.

It also includes night and thermal vision and other in-game tools to help you find and fight enemies.


You can also have your own team and choose to fight with other people. While the game has the same overall mechanism as Pokémon Go, it has a different feel and is targeted for gamers who want to try something different and new.

Ingress Augmented Reality

By a mile one of the most exciting AR games out there. This Niantic game relies on your phone's GPS. It is an immersive game that lets the player experience a mixture of adventure, mystery and fantasy in one.

The player's goal is to break into portals and build control fields by travelling to different locations in real life.

Life is Crime

This location-based app gives users the experience of playing cops and robbers. This two-player game lets you solve mysteries and crimes as well as catching the bad guy.

Players have live chat that they can engage with, with other players to help with tasks, take down gangs and complete tasks to earn points and rewards.

There are elements of the game that mean you are playing against other people in your area since it is location-based. This element means you physically go to other crime sites and see how they have solved the crimes. The only downside is, if you live in a rural area you may have problems finding people to play against.

Parallel Kingdom

This multiplayer real-time game uses location-based gameplay in the mystical universe. Parallel Kingdom is designed with two players in mind specifically, to explore the map.

The game will transport you to a mythical world with quests and monsters no matter that location you are in.

The app is made up of around 40 or so levels and you can trade objects and talk to other players in the game for a unique experience.

Augmented Reality Tutorial For Beginners: Best Augmented Reality Apps

There is a new market for AR-related apps in the app store or play store depending on your device. There really is something for everyone as well, from sporting apps to catching monsters, to shooting enemies AR is opening up the real world to people that also enjoy the virtual. Here's a quick list of some of the apps out there:

AR Basket Ball

Want to play games with AR? AR Basket Ball is an app that will get you hooked on shooting hoops. This app allows the user to play basketball through shooting balls through hoops that are digitalised on the screen. Basketball not your thing? Well you can always try scoring goals on the app as well with the Android Kick Ball app. The app works by pointing your gamer at your feet and kicking a virtual ball.

Google Goggles

One of the most futuristic devices to be created are the Google Goggles. This innovative AR app is one of the first pieces of AR tech to be utilized on android.

It's really user friendly and requires simply scanning objects and Google will attempt to verify what it is that you are looking at.

Not sure what landmark you are looking at? Well, Google Goggles will help you identify landmarks, so as a tourist in another country trying to experience the culture Google Goggles can help. The app can also be used to translate foreign languages (roughly so you get the gist) with the use of Googles, Google translate app.


Like the idea of being a ghost hunter? Well now you can be with the SpecTrek app, it is an AR app that lets you track and capture paranormal creatures. This is a game that can be enjoyed by all ages. The app will encourage the player to go outside to find the paranormal in the everyday.

The game uses your phone camera and GPS to layer the ghosts over the environment in front of you. The game progresses and becomes challenging to higher level ghost hunters by introducing timed hunts over larger areas.

Star Walk

A very similar app to Sky Map is Star Walk. This app displays the constellations around you and is a brilliant app to get young kids into astronomy and stargazing.

The constellations can easily be learnt and remembered through the visual guide of seeing what star belongs whereas you point your camera to the heavens.

You can also find satellites and the international space station, planets and stars.

My Brana

This AR app is used for advertising and media promotion. People are encouraged to use their creative sides and use a variety of different stickers, video graphics, clips and animations and share them with friends.

You can create the world as you see it through the free app version or through the premium editor as well.


With the recent influx of tattooed instagram models showing off their latest living art pieces its no wonder many want a permanent sticker as well. Before you commit yourself to your tattoo however you can now see what it would like on the part of the body you wish to ink.

Inkhunter allows user to preview the tattoo ahead of the needles to help make better placement positions and colour choices.

The process is simple enough as well, you'll need to draw an x for marking the spot of the tattoo and then point your smartphone towards it. Inkhunter will place a dynamic view of the design on the display.

You will be able to move the image and see it from all angles, which is helpful if you aren't sure about the placement. They also have preset tattoos as well to help you even further in your comment to your ink.

Augmented Reality VS Virtual Reality

Virtual reality and Augmented reality are quite different. Visual reality or VR is the term used to define an environment that you can interact with that has been computer-generated by a developer.

AR adds to what we are seeing already in the real world rather than changing it completely like VR does. Virtual reality is a complete immersion into another world via a headset.

What is the difference between AR and VR?

Well, people using an AR app are still able to interact with the real world and real-world objects whilst using AR functions.

VR is virtual reality, so an immersion of being in another world, you will have a headpiece to show you the world and normally a controller to help interact with virtual objects

Augmented reality, the user in the real world can see the addition of graphics and visuals added to the screen that they are using; or the camera that they are looking through. Great examples of this are the app Snapchat's filters. They will add glasses or a hat on to the face of the users that will move as they move.

Both iPhone and Android have a variety of apps that have the AR function for gaming and social media.

A final note

The mixture of blended worlds in augmented reality is still ahead of virtual reality. Users can be in the real world but still experience the virtual one. With a variety of augmented reality apps on the market today, its entirely possible to see it being used for education and training as well as opening the gaming world up.

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