Application Areas of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality can be applied in numerous areas. While the first AR systems were developed for military, industrial and medical fields, they also appear in commercial and entertainment. [3] suggest to classify the possible areas of application of AR as follows:

  • Personal information systems
  • Industrial and military applications
  • Medical applications
  • AR for entertainment
  • AR for the office
  • Education and training

Personal information systems

Personal wearable computing is one of the biggest potential markets for AR [3]. Firstly, they can be used for personal assistance and advertisement. Devices to automatically store inputs from the real world like conversations, people or just any information which might be useful for the user are stored and displayed at a convenient time. Navigation is another field of appliance for AR. For example, virtual signs lead the driver of a car or provide warnings when potential hazards arrive.

Industrial and military applications

Besides design, assembly and maintenance, AR is useful for combat simulation, too. To experience a product before building a prototype is an advantage of augmented reality. Using this technology in the design phase of a car therefore helps to cut costs. It is also used in the manufacturing process of cars as well as aircrafts. Important information is displayed to workers in real time and without interrupting the working progress.

Medical applications

As stated in the section before, information can be displayed to medical personnel, too. AR can be used during surgeries, showing information about a patient to a nurse or for visualizing CT and MR scans.

AR for entertainment

There are two main areas in entertainment where AR can be applied. These areas are games as well as sports broadcasting. While VR is mainly used for indoor gaming, AR games can also take place outdoors. Examples for such games are “Ingress” where the competitors have to hack and build up virtual portals in the real world or “Zombie run!” in which the player has to find a way to get away from zombies. [2] In sports broadcasting objects like players or a ball can be tracked and highlighted with AR technology. This technology is used especially for analyzing certain key plays and tactical behavior.

AR for the office

In the office, AR can be useful for collaboration. Working together on a subject might be more comfortable if the workers see a 3D model of the object. Also remote collaboration becomes easier and more efficient.

Education and training

The last area of application is education and training. As mentioned in the previous section, virtual models also support the learning process and help to understand complex matters. Math, geometry or engineering are only a few courses which could benefit from AR technology.


Game-based learning is only one example of how AR is used in different of the above mentioned areas and shows that there are no exact boundaries between these areas of application. As augmented reality is being developed further, the possibility for its usage become more and more diverse.


[1] D.W.F. van Krevelen, R. Poelman. A Survey of Augmented Reality – Technologies, Applications and Limitations. The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 2010, 9(2):1-20

[2] Accessed 28.03.2016

[3] T. H. Höllerer and S. K. Feiner. Mobile Augmented Reality. In H. Karimi and A. Hammad, editors, Telegeoinformatics: Location-Based Computing and Services. CRC Press, Mar. 2004. ISBN 0-4153-6976-2.

[4] Accessed 28.03.2016

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