There are four main types of augmented reality, each with their own unique functionality and application.
Marker-Based Augmented Reality:
Marker-based augmented reality, also known as “image recognition,” uses a smartphone camera and some visual ‘marker’ that produces an augmented reality when it is sensed by the camera. The marker can be a QR code or a specific image, like a movie poster, as long as it has enough distinct visual points.
You could use marker-based AR to bring a still image to life or provide customers with additional information. For example, market your upcoming concert by creating a poster that, when scanned, shows a set list and plays music from the lineup.
Markerless Augmented Reality:
Markerless augmented reality uses a GPS, digital compass, or accelerometer to provide data to a device based on location or speed. This is the most popular and versatile type of AR.
It’s especially useful for showing physical objects in relation to other objects, like sizing furniture for a house in IKEA Place, and bringing characters to life in Pokémon Go.
Projection-Based Augmented Reality:
Projection-based augmented reality, or spatial augmented reality (SAR), works by projecting artificial light onto a real surface, much like the way a movie projector works. Screens or headsets are not needed.
Projection-based AR is usually done on a larger scale, like at a conference or event. It can be interactive, with the use of sensors, and 3D. This form of AR is helpful to showcase large objects like cars and can even be used in the consumer research phase to get feedback on different models.
Superimposition-Based Augmented Reality:
Superimposition-based augmented reality uses object recognition. The augmented image replaces the original image either partially or fully. This type of AR is commonly used in the medical field to superimpose an X-ray onto a patient’s body.
It can also be used to enhance a historical tour. For example, you could use superimposition-based AR to showcase what a statue or structure looked like years ago, visually explaining how it has aged and why that’s significant.