What is Augmented Reality And How Has It Revolutionized Mobile Applications
Augmented Reality
Yooliya Mohammed March 26, 2020



Augmented Reality (AR) :

Augmented Reality is nothing but a combination of the real scene as viewed by the user and a virtual picture generated by the computer, along with some additional information. It also adds real-time virtual computer-generated objects, audio, and other sense enhancements to the real-world environment. AR helps to create a system in which a user cannot identify many differences between the real world and the virtual augmentation generated.

The main and basic idea of Augmented reality (AR) is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sensory elements over a real-world environment in real-time. Hence this technology works by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.

Augmented reality is very different from virtual reality because this software enables us to configure, manage and virtualize 3D content through augmented reality. The mission of this software is to connect our physical and virtual experiences so as to change the way people perceive and imagine the real world around them.

Augmented reality can be applied to many markets, such as:

  • Marketing
  • Navigation
  • Sales
  • Gaming
  • Design
  • Entertainment

Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality :

In Augmented Reality, the system augments the real-world scene whereas in Virtual Reality it is a completely immersive environment. That is in AR, users maintain a sense of presence in the real world but in VR, the visual senses are under the control of the system and the person is in a virtual world. Therefore, AR needs a mechanism to combine virtual and real worlds.

How Does Augmented Reality Work on Mobile?

There are basically two types of Augmented Reality that can be used in mobile application development.

  • Marker-based AR
  • Markerless AR

These two differ in terms of sensors used and technologies implemented, but the basic principle is still the same: they display virtual 3D objects on the top of a camera view.

Marker-based AR

Marker-based AR is the most powerful technology. It uses an image-recognition algorithm to specify the position and rotation of markers. There are tools that can recognize almost everything – from text to a human face.

Markerless AR

Here, an image from the internet is gathered and displayed over a specific location, it doesn’t require a marker to display the content. This is more interactive than the marker-based augmentation. The sensors used in markerless AR are:

  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • magnetometer

Augmented Reality Techniques :

  • Heads Mounted Display
  • Handheld Device
  • Spatial Device

Head-Mounted Display

Users can simultaneously view both the real world and the virtual world.


  • Head-Mounted Device
  • Computing Device
  • The communication link between HMD and computing device


  • Can only work in a limited environment
  • May cause some user interaction problems.

This is the most challenging technique among all AR techniques.

Handheld Device

  • Most commonly used AR devices
  • Works on Smartphones
  • Uses a variety of Sensors
  • Most applications are Android-based

Spatial  Device

  • User does not carry any device with him
  • The data is projected onto real-world entities
  • Multiple users can interact with the system
  • Can support large areas of displays

Challenges With Augmented Reality :

  • Accuracy – Sensors are prone to bias, which means the accuracy of displayed objects will be lower minute by minute. In newer devices, the sensors are much more accurate but are still not perfect.
  • Battery – The device display has to be continually on, along with the camera, orientation sensors, image recognition, GPS. These are considered the most energy-consuming hardware in every mobile device because engaging with augmented reality for even a few minutes can significantly drain your battery.
  • AccessibilityARCore, the framework for creating AR apps. Although it’s well optimized and really cool, it’s supported on a limited number of devices. The list is growing, but currently, it contains about 100 devices and is the easiest way to create augmented reality apps.

System Design Requirements


  • A handheld device (Smartphone)
  • Head-mounted Device
  • AR Screens

Platform required

  • Android-based
  • IOS-based


  • Data Servers
  • Query Processing Systems
  • Database updating system

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the future of mobile technology and offer a revolutionary way to keep customers engaged and connected to solutions. From service delivery to navigation, real-time monitoring of factory equipment to product presentation, AR in mobile app development is diverse enough to serve enterprises, enhance their markets and boost productivity.

Author Bio

Yooliya Mohammed works as a software engineer trainee with the mobility department. Her hobbies include cooking and gardening.