Augmented Reality (AR)

When thinking of augmented reality (AR) applications, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Pokemon Go. With time and the maturity of AR technology, the scope of AR applications has expanded to other industries such as medicine, education, film, animation, and so on. ARPlanet compiled a series of related articles, allowing you to have a grasp on current AR trends.

Immersive Reality – AR, VR, and MR defined

Learn to differentiate between these 3 technologies with our simple guide!

With the constant advancement of hardware and software, immersive reality technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) that we constantly hear about, are also evolving by the day. During an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, he said that AR is “a big idea like the smartphone.” It is definitely plausible that these technologies may one day become as integrated into our lives, as the smartphones in our hands.

So, what exactly is AR, VR, and MR? How does one differentiate between these technologies? And how are they affecting our lives?

Immersive Reality | What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented reality uses a camera to take in the real-world environment, combining it with image recognition and positioning technology, layering virtual enhancement objects such as graphics, audio, and digital information into the real-world that we live in. This way, users can simultaneously see the real-world, as well as the projected virtual objects.

Taking the example of Pokémon GO, where random Pokémon suddenly appears right in front of players’ eyes. The Pokémon in this case, is the virtual object, generated by the program. Thus, AR is the surrounding environment we see right in front of our eyes, and the virtual Pokémon shown on the mobile screen at the same time, in real-time.

Immersive Reality | What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

The virtual reality experience involves hardware in the form of a head-mounted display (HMD) to completely cover the visual range of the eyes. The user cannot see the surrounding environment, and is completely immersed in the virtual world shown by the head-mounted display. They use the operating controllers to interact with objects within the virtual world.

Immersive Reality | What is Mixed Reality (MR)?

Mixed reality generally involves hardware in the form of a head-mounted display (HMD). But in this case, users can still see the real-world surrounding areas, with virtual objects appearing in the environment. MR emphasizes on the integration of real-world elements that is the core of AR, with the immersion and virtual interaction elements that make up VR, presenting the best of both worlds, perfectly integrated in one compact solution.

Looking at the above example of the Dragon Battling MR game, players wearing a head-mounted display sees a flying dragon in their surrounding environment. Using gestures or a controller, players launch magic attacks on the dragon, and run around to avoid the flames shooting from the dragon’s mouth. In a truly integrated environment, the real and virtual world are tightly wound together, making it difficult to distinguish one from the other.

How to distinguish between AR, VR, and MR

To summarize the above definitions of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality, the simplest difference is that with AR and MR, the real-world environment is still visible during the experience, whereas you cannot see your surrounding environment during a VR experience; whereas MR is a combination of AR and VR, with emphasis on a more immersive AR experience, paired with the immersion and interactivity of a VR experience.

Recent developments and challenges of AR, VR, and MR

Since the introduction of AR technology, this stubborn issue revolving around “how to affix the virtual object in the real-world” has always been around, because only through a stable positioning, do we truly have that feeling of a fully integrated virtual and real world. Presently, one of the more stable positioning technologies is mainly image recognition, and other positioning algorithms such as facial recognition, SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), indoor positioning are still in the continuous process of being developed and updated.

As head-mounted displays play an integral role in VR, the biggest issue is the weight and comfort of the head-mounted display. Think about it, no one wants to continuously wear a bulky, heavy helmet just to escape into the virtual world for a short while. Only through reducing the weight and optimizing the comfort levels of the gear, can the use time be extended, allowing users to experience a more comfortable and enjoyable journey into the virtual world.

As MR combines the characteristics of both AR and VR technology, it isn’t hard to imagine the challenges faced in the application of MR technology in real-world solutions. However, we are confident that over time, as AR and VR overcome these prevailing issues, MR can be integrated with many current technologies, providing a new type of immersive reality experience for the general public.

Current applications of AR, VR, and MR technologies

In terms of use cases, AR is the more popular choice among the three, mainly used for commercial purposes, but also in branding, gaming, navigation, and so on. Using AR to enhance the real-world surroundings, step into a time machine and watch as the history of these surrounding areas unfurl right in front of your eyes.

Presently, VR is mostly used in games and training simulations. In the case of training simulations, reduce time taken for practicing, avoid the dangers of hands-on training, and save on expensive equipment and training costs – all you need is a head-mounted display. After practicing in the virtual environment, seamlessly carry out duties by performing a test in real life. It is as simple as that.

MR is still in the adoption phase, as it requires a higher cost of hardware, development, and application, as well as a more complicated systemic process, which results in fewer applications of MR technologies in the general market. However, international companies like Microsoft and Magic Leap have introduced a lot of plans for the future. We are hopeful that MR will be widely accepted by the general public in the near future.  

The future of immersive reality technology

Whether it be AR, VR, MR, or other emerging technology, the singular most important challenge is how the technologies are applied. Remember, back in the days when smartphones were just introduced. How could we have imagined that all major and minor parts of our daily life such as messaging, shopping, learning, transportation, news, and many others, can be easily done with just a few taps on our smartphones. The same applies for these emerging technologies. We are looking forward to see how they can be integrated into our lives.

As technology constantly evolves, what kind of vision do you have for the future?

More Articles

Taipei Friendly GO!


A modern way of city exploration – discover new shops and restaurants using AR treasure hunt game

Taipei Friendly GO! uses Augmented Reality (AR) and Location-Based Service (LBS) technology, seamlessly connecting 450 “friendly stores” and 13 different venues across Taipei city.

Similar to the Pokémon Go concept that everyone is familiar with, players go on a “treasure hunt” adventure across the city, discovering services and features offered by these partner stores while exploring. The city of Taipei is filled with hidden treasure hunting tasks, where players have to discover to earn points and win prizes. Our cute mascots and interesting games keep players hooked!

This treasure hunt game is a great way for brands to engage with customers, and make a more lasting impression using engaging technology that keeps players coming back for more!

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

Taoyuan International Airport AR


Discover hidden experiences with AR

Taoyuan International Airport is the gateway to Taiwan. Symbolizing freedom, unrestraint, and channelling a sense of belonging.Arplanet worked with Taoyuan International Airport to create a unique experience for travellers during Mid-Autumn Festival, Halloween, and Christmas. Using Augmented Reality (AR) filters, we bring forth a new layer of immersive experience, enhancing your travelling experience!

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

Fandora AR T-shirts


See your favourite Fandora characters come to life with AR

Breaching past AR in physical store activities, Fandora now also incorporates AR technology into the products itself. Fandora collaborated with various well-known artists to launch its AR T-shirts collection. Scan the
T-shirt designs using the marq+ app, and see characters like Miss You Bunny (好想兔), ByeByeChuChu (奧勒雞), and Usagyuuun (小突兔) come to life – bringing in an extra dimension to the characters you see on the AR t-shirts. 

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

WebAR for Fandora Store Launch


Using AR technology to create an interactive experience during new store launch

Fandora opened its first physical store during their 5th anniversary of cute plush character BugCat-Capoo (貓貓蟲咖波) – the most popular among all Fandora characters. The launch of the store was paired with a WebAR event, allowing players to participate directly using their own mobile devices.

To join in this event, simply scan the trigger stickers to collect points and unlock cute photo frames featuring your favourite characters. Everyone stands a chance to win gifts and bring lovely Fandora merchandise home.

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

Learning English with AR - Vocabulary Book for AMC English Centre


Let's Play English With AR

“My First Words in English via AR” is the first English vocabulary book by AMC English Centre. It incorporates AR technology into interactive learning games, combining over 1,200 English words into 108 sections, allowing students to learn while having fun.  

Independent learning paired with the AMC’s smart learning pen, not only is effective in students’ self-learning and comprehension, but allows them the freedom to learn at their own pace. Students find more enjoyment in learning through these diverse AR games. This book also comes with an English dictionary and CD that contains extra information – helpful for learning.

Let’s learn English in a fun and interesting way!

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

Virtual Guidance - Explore Pingtung Village with AR


Experience the rich, cultural history of Pingtung Village through an Augmented Reality virtual guide

When Augmented Reality (AR) technology goes to Pingtung Victory Star Village, you can clearly see how amazing it is to combine technology and history in creating a unique learning experience, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the history of Pingtung Village.

Using the AR Location-Based Service (LBS) navigation to explore Pingtung Village surrounding areas, discover these different cultural relics that tell rich stories of their times, and learn about the history and stories of these places as you visit. Here, visitors can experience the surrounding their grandparents’ generations grew up in, reliving their parents’ childhood days in Pingtung Village – now a protected heritage site. You’ll need to see it to fully experience it. Let AR bring you on an adventure across time, through interactive guides and tours

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

2019 Future Commerce Exhibition - AR Ordering


A new development to streamline food ordering process

Malls are a popular choice when we consider where to eat out. However, it may sometimes be confusing to navigate through the various stores to find these eateries. There may also be a long queue, all that time wasted in waiting to place your order.

As a solution to this issue, the Future Commerce Exhibition invited Arplanet to customize a solution. We partnered with QLiEER (客立樂) to develop a new AR ordering system. Restaurant patrons order from the comfort of their seats, see the items in 3D, and make payment all through the app. There’s a mascot that guides you through the entire process. Food is delivered to the table, where patrons can enjoy hassle free.  

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

2019 Future Commerce Exhibition - Immersive Reality


Arplanet showcase our wide range of integrated immersive reality solutions

Immersive reality technology – let brands tell their own stories!

Immersive reality – the umbrella term encompassing Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) is becoming increasingly incorporated in how businesses function today.  

Arplanet debuts its innovative AR platform – marq+ during the Future Commerce Exhibition. This platform connects three core models of AR integration: service model introduction, freedom of AR interaction, and brands’ freedom in storytelling, into a compact and modern integrated AR platform.

Through incorporating audio with visual elements in AR, users get the full immersive experience, and a full grasp of the brand story. During this Future Commerce Exhibition, users are immersed into the world of impressionist paintings, listening to artists such as Van Gogh and Gauguin recount the story behind these iconic artworks. Through experiencing historical events using immersive reality technology, people are able to relate and understand more about these events that happened.

We believe that AR alone, is unable to satisfy the demands of consumers. Consumers are demanding more in terms of interactivity, expression, and innovation. Hence the integrated platform gives access to all these features, all in one convenient app. Using AR to tell the brand’s story, share product information and reviews, facilitate interaction between brands and the audience, makes brands more memorable in the eyes of end consumers. This triggers a positive association of the brand and its products, and motivates engagement and purchases.

These AR technologies are widely versatile, and can be used in various different industries such as MICE, education, manufacturing, tourism, medical, finance, retail, HORECA etc.

MR Game – Dragons are attacking our world! Rally your friends to defeat these dragons!

Through MR glasses, players see a giant dragon appear in the world before their eyes. Using the controllers, players have to avoid the dragon’s flames, while working with their teammates – other players immersed in the same world – in attacking, and ultimately defeating the dragon.

MR brings the virtual and the real world together so seamlessly, immersing players into a world where they cannot tell what is virtual and what is real. Let your imagination run wild!

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.

ANZ Bank - CNY AR Event


AR connects international brands seamlessly with customers

ANZ bank used AR technology to further distribute information during their “Asia at a Glance” event. Users simply have to scan selected trigger images using the marq+ app, which directs them to a site map where they can find out more of the latest financial information and trends.

As this event was organized near Chinese New Year time, users have the option to access the AR photo frames, taking pictures with 3D golden pigs during the year of the pig.

To find out more information about this case, please CONTACT US.
We will be in touch shortly.