Augmented Reality: What It Is and How It Enhances the Visual Experience

Augment Reality Animal Cards

Augmented Reality technology is transforming the face of books, video games and education resources, as well as robotics and manufacturing. According to Webopedia, “Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that aims to duplicate the world’s environment in a computer. An augmented reality system generates a composite view for the user that is the combination of the real scene viewed by the user and a virtual scene generated by the computer that augments the scene with additional information.1”

Therefore, whereas virtual reality aims to completely replace one’s reality with a digital one, augmentation takes what is happening in real-time and introduces an interactive virtual world.

Augmented Reality began with scientist Morton Heilig in 1962, who patented a device called the “Sensorama Stimulator2” – the first version of virtual reality. The Stimulator was meant to help teach by putting people in digital environments with potential hazards without the possibility of real harm. Then, in 1968, Bob Sproull released a “head-mounted2” display that is considered to be the first Augmented Reality system. In the last twenty years, Augmented Reality has expanded to be used during sporting events, video games, medical training, print media, and more. 2

These days, something as simple as a physical book could be transformed into a digital environment through augmented reality technology and a device such as an iPhone or iPad. Augmented Reality allows publishers to supplement their written information and photos with videos and graphics to enhance learning and engagement. This technology aids in educating readers because what they’re reading about can come to life before their eyes. Not to mention, Augmented Reality encourages readers to do more than just go through the motions of reading a book – it transforms their experience into a digital adventure, demanding attention and engagement and appealing to those with visual learning styles.

While Augmented Reality has been around for quite a while, it is finding its way into many different industries as it develops, changing the game for education, technology and entertainment. Many people are becoming more comfortable with Augmented Reality through the release of Google Glass and interactive video game systems. According to Creative Bloq, Augmented Reality may be shifting to contact lenses in the near future. Connected to a device in your pocket, these lenses will be able to display photos and messages in front of users’ eyes. When it comes to Augmented Reality, the possibilities are endless. 3


1 Beal, V. (2014). Augmented Reality. Webopedia. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2014 from

2 Shore, J. (2012). Where Did Augmented Reality Begin? Mashable. Retrieved Sept.



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