Augmented Reality (AR) is an advanced technology that blends digital information with the real world, creating an enriched, interactive environment. The process of how AR works is complex and involves integrating several key technologies, such as image processing, position and orientation tracking, real-time graphics rendering, and user interaction. Below, we provide a detailed discussion of the technical aspects of how augmented reality operates.

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How does Augmented Reality work?

One of the fundamental elements of augmented reality is tracking the position and orientation of the device in space. Various sensors built into mobile devices are used for this purpose, including:

Accelerometer: Measures linear acceleration in three axes (x, y, z), allowing determination of device movement.
Gyroscope: Measures angular velocity around three axes, enabling tracking of rotations and device orientation.
Magnetometer: Acts like a compass, aiding in determining the device orientation relative to the Earth’s magnetic field.

Data from these sensors are fused using sensor fusion algorithms such as Kalman filters, which enable accurate tracking of the device’s position and orientation in real time.

ARLITY Cloud Platform offers a wide range of possibilities for augmented reality tailored to your business needs.

Objects in Augmented Reality

Another key element of augmented reality is the recognition and tracking of objects in the real environment. Various methods are used for this purpose, including:

Marker-based AR: Utilizes special markers (e.g., QR codes) for identifying and tracking objects. The device camera scans the surroundings, and image processing algorithms identify these markers to determine the position and orientation of virtual objects.

Markerless AR: Enables tracking of objects without the use of markers. Algorithms analyze environmental features (such as edges, corners, and textures) to identify and track objects. Examples of such algorithms include SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and Visual Odometry.

3D models in Augmented Reality

To overlay virtual objects onto the real world, they must be rendered in real-time. This process involves several steps:

1. 3D Modeling: Creating three-dimensional models of objects intended for display in AR. These models can be created using specialized software like Blender or Autodesk Maya.

2. Texturing and Lighting: Adding textures and lighting effects to the 3D models to make them appear realistic and natural in the real environment.

3. Rendering: Utilizing the computational power of the device (including GPU) to generate real-time 3D images. Techniques such as shading, texture mapping, and Physically Based Rendering (PBR) are employed to achieve realistic visual effects.

Visualization of a 3D object in Augmented Reality - AR Agata Meble application created by ARLITY

Augmented Reality and interaction with the environment

  • Occlusion: Ensures that virtual objects are correctly obscured by real objects that are in front of them. This requires advanced depth tracking and image segmentation.

    Anchoring: Allows virtual objects to be attached to specific points in the real world, keeping them in place even as the user moves around.

    User interaction: Enables users to interact with virtual objects using gestures, touch, or voice. An example could be manipulating 3D models by dragging and dropping on a touchscreen.

Technologies supporting Augmented Reality

Using augmented reality requires integrating multiple technologies and tools. Below are some of the most important:

ARKit and ARCore: Frameworks developed by Apple and Google, respectively, enabling the creation of AR applications on iOS and Android. They offer advanced features for motion tracking, plane detection, and interaction with the environment.

Unity and Unreal Engine: Popular game engines that support AR development. They allow for creating sophisticated 3D visualizations and interactive AR applications.

WebAR: Technologies like WebXR, WebGL, and WebAssembly that enable creating AR applications to run directly in web browsers, without the need for additional software installation.

OpenCV and TensorFlow: Libraries for image processing and machine learning used for object recognition and tracking in AR.

Check how others are using AR in their business. Discover success stories of ARLITY's clients.

Augmented Reality - Applications

Augmented reality (AR) finds applications in many areas of life, from entertainment to industry, education, and medicine. Below are some examples of its usage:

Games and Entertainment:

  • Pokémon GO: One of the most popular AR games, allowing players to catch virtual creatures called Pokémon in the real world.
  • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite: A game based on the popular book series, enabling players to collect magical items and battle monsters in their real environment.


  • Anatomy 4D: An educational app that allows medical students and school pupils to interactively explore the human body, presenting detailed anatomical models.
  • Google Expeditions: An educational platform that uses AR to create virtual tours, allowing students to explore places and objects from around the world in their classrooms.

Industry and Logistics:

  • Service Instructions and Training: Companies like Siemens and Boeing use AR to create interactive service instructions and training sessions that help employees assemble and repair complex machinery. An example of AR usage in industry and servicing is the Virtual Expert system working with wearable computers like RealWear from FusionXR.
  • Warehouse Management: Logistics companies like DHL use AR to optimize warehouse processes, enabling workers to quickly locate and identify products.


  • AR-Assisted Surgery: Surgeons use AR technology to plan and conduct operations with greater precision. Applications like AccuVein help doctors find patients’ veins by projecting images of blood vessels onto the skin.
  • Rehabilitation: AR applications are used in therapy and rehabilitation for patients after injuries, offering interactive exercises and progress tracking.

Business and E-commerce:

  • Virtual Product Try-Ons: In the era of widespread mobile app usage, augmented reality has become an excellent tool for offering customers an additional feature that not only facilitates shopping but also helps build customer loyalty. AR features are used by manufacturers and online stores in the form of virtual try-ons or tools for visualizing products in a room (“see it in your room” applications). The try-on function is used in the cosmetics, clothing, and jewelry industries, while “see it in your room” is commonly used in furniture, home decor, and lighting stores, as well as in showrooms.
  • Social-Selling: AR is also a way to attract and retain consumer attention, for example, on social media. Through social media filters and interactive OOH/FOOH ads utilizing AR, a customer can get closer to a brand and engage with the community that the brand creates.

The Future of Augmented Reality

The development of augmented reality technology is dynamic and promises many innovative applications in the future. AR is expected to become even more advanced thanks to progress in technologies such as:

  • 5G: Faster and more reliable network connections will enable the transmission of larger amounts of data in real-time, improving the quality and smoothness of AR experiences.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): The application of AI for image analysis and pattern recognition will enable more advanced and accurate object tracking and better integration of virtual elements with the real world.
  • AR Cloud: The concept of AR Cloud involves creating a spatial map of the real world that will be accessible to all AR devices. This will allow sharing AR information and experiences between users in real-time.
  • New AR Devices: With the development of hardware technologies such as smart glasses and AR contact lenses, users will have even easier access to augmented reality in their daily lives.

Augmented reality is an advanced technology that combines the real world with the virtual world, creating new possibilities for interaction and enriching user experiences. By integrating sensors, image processing algorithms, real-time graphic rendering, and position tracking technology, augmented reality has become one of the most rapidly developing technological fields. Its future looks promising, with the potential for further innovations and new applications across many areas of life.