September 7, 2017

Augmented Reality 101: Top AR use-cases

The first part of Wikitude’s Augmented Reality 101 series tackled the basics. After explaining what AR is and going through the most common types of AR technologies, we will now explore how augmented reality is being used in our world TODAY.

Before we proceed, let’s make one thing clear: AR is not just about dog face filters and Pokémon GO. We kid you not. People are using this technology to bring ease to their lives and many forward-thinking companies are working with augmented reality to improve their workflow and businesses. Let’s see how.


We created an extensive list of selected AR use cases. Navigate through the topics below to learn more about current AR applications.


Static mediums are being innovated and brought to life through AR enhanced catalogs, flyers, brochures, billboards, posters, packaging, t-shirts, print-ads, bus shelters, storefronts to include videos, 3D animations, extra info, targeted experiences and user engagement.


Medical students are using anatomically correct AR 3D models for study purposes and AR simulations to train for surgical procedures. Real surgeries, on the other hand, are using remote physicians to give guidance and share expertise that is shown on display in real time to the performing surgeon.

Handheld scanners are being used to project the estimated position of veins in patient’s bodies for increased accuracy when drawing blood. Doctors are providing better explanations about diagnosis and treatments through enriched AR content and Pharma companies are providing drug info in a 3D AR setting for a better understanding of medicament working mechanisms and dosage instructions.


Use of interactive AR books that include animated 3D models, sound, and engaging actions. Customizable printable AR worksheets, linked to the content of a specific lesson, for in-class usage, homework and study purposes. Enhancing field trip experiences with more information and interaction by visiting locations that have incorporated AR features.


Renowned newspapers around the globe are using AR to enhance reporting and storytelling. Printed issues are being enriched with exclusive content and app AR experiences are bringing more sensory detail to readers. This AR series from The Washington Post is probably the most known example of how AR is changing storytelling.


Users may visualize and modify size, color, and placement of a piece of furniture in their environment before buying the product. Roomle’s AR space planner is a great example for home planning and decor with Augmented reality:


Shoppers can use AR product placement to see how the object will look like in their environment, being able to change color and style, before the purchase. Through AR animations, shoppers can also better understand how a product works and functions. Check how Manor created a Digital Catalog for E-commerce.


Different types of AR dressing rooms are being created to allow consumers to experiment product placement by digitally trying on clothes, changing its color, sampling different shoes, eyewear, accessories, makeup and more.


As an alternative to pricey prototypes, designers are utilizing AR to create 3D models that can be viewed in the real world to better understand, modify, develop and present their projects.


Big sport related events such as the Olympics, UEFA, Wimbledon and others are relying on AR to innovatively bring exclusive content, event info and fun engagement to their spectators.


Static PDF work instructions are being replaced with real-time, rich interactive AR content to assist employees during production on complex assembly lines.


Warehouse employees are scanning their orders to be guided by AR prompts that offer the best route to move faster and more efficiently, indicating the precise storage location.

ViewAR is a great example of AR applied in logistics for process optimization.


Technicians can scan machines to check for faulty settings and when corrective measures need to be taken, 3D AR graphics are projected on the exact location where the task needs to be performed along with useful information and other procedures. AR enhanced content is also being used as an alternative to traditional owner’s manuals and setup guides.


Remote experts can connect with on-site technicians who receive real-time audio, messaging as well as AR instructions. Users can place annotations and 3D models through shared one-way videos which stay locked onto the real world, giving rich context and eliminating confusion.


Traditional GPS directions are not only being layered in the user’s line of sight to better avoid accidents caused by distractions but are also being enhanced to show real time hazards, traffic, and even public in-building navigation.


Travel guides and maps, both printed and digital, are being enhanced with augmented reality content to provide extra information for tourism. With AR, tourists can easily find valuable information by scanning their surroundings to get pinpoint props of free wifi, restaurant and accommodation tips, customer reviews, directions, transportation options, historical facts, interactive maps, customizable itineraries and more.


Artists are creating digital art pieces layered over public places that are unveiled through AR. People can leave notes and doodles in public places that are also revealed through AR. Museums have been enhanced with AR guided tours that provide extra content about exposed items. Don’t miss the CoCA Pop-Up (AR)t Book and Direct2Artist showcases powered by Wikitude.


The most notorious AR game to date is Pokémon GO. When the game went viral people went to the streets to capture Pokémons digitally layered in the real world. But the possibilities are many and expanding constantly. The spectrum goes from tactical space shooting quests to traditional board games enhanced or totally created with AR. In case you missed it, check out the world’s first augmented reality card game powered by Wikitude.


Instead of using expensive equipment like, single-use targets, bombs, ammunition, aircraft and others, AR technology is being used to substitute these components during military training. AR is also utilized to enhance the vision and navigation of pilots and soldiers by providing target identification, obstacle avoidance, terrain information, more precision in aiming and even ally and enemy location.


AR is being used to project subsurface utilities, like underground pipelines, to avoid during excavations. Constructors are also measuring length and distance between objects using the tracking capabilities of augmented reality. With the help of AR, engineers can also view their finished project on site before the actual building process begins.


Augmented reality features are being used in retail for interactive advertising, product visualization, showroom enhancement (product exploration, special feature revelation), indoor store navigation (product finder, customer loyalty incentive, discounts), shopping assistance (product details and comparison, personalised suggestions), sampling campaigns and more.

PeekPerks, the retail engagement app:

Retailers are also exploring creative and useful ways to use AR to improve internal business processes for logistics, design (shelf optimization, product and label placement), employee management (in-company training, access to information), employee assistance (modular set-up, restocking support), quality control (audit simulations), personalization and security (facial recognition technology to track customers in-store) and even to create bold new disruptive business models (virtual stores in parking lots, parks and in front of famous landmarks).


Industries are using AR to optimize their business in design, production, distribution, maintenance and remote assistance, as discussed in the correspondent topics listed herein.

As seen above, the use cases are many and it excites us to imagine what the future of AR has in store.

For a deeper technical insight, read about the different technological features that Wikitude’s cross-platform SDK provides to make existing and future AR experiences possible.

If you would like to know more about AR, we’ll be back with Wikitude’s Augmented Reality 101 part III. Continue to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Interested in creating an AR project of your own?
Talk to one of our specialists and learn how to get started.

Contact The Wikitude Team

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