Augmented Reality — or AR — places a digitally rendered layer over the vision of the participant. This means the viewer can still see their surroundings, unlike VR which completely replaces their view with a digital view. Although the digitally augmented reality may seem to fit on top of the real scene, it cannot truly interact with the objects being viewed.
AR can use hand-held digital devices, with front facing cameras, such as mobile phones and tablets. The camera will take in the surrounding live scene, and then place the virtual layer on top in real-time.
The most commonly seen example of AR is Pokémon Go, which allows players to use a mobile device’s camera to look forward, while the app places characters over top on the screen for them to interact with.
However, like VR, AR can also make use of eye-ware devices to create a more immersive experience, but one that does not require anything as bulky or invasive as VR headsets.