Augmented reality is all around us, and every day it is becoming more immersed in to our day-to-day lifestyle.  Without realizing it augmented reality is changing the way we think, and how we access information about the world around us. From entertainment to education, this brand new technology appears on everything form your TV to your iPhone.

What is Augmented Reality

Before we start, we need to tell you what augmented reality actually is!

Augmented Reality

When I first start talking about augmented reality, whether I am on stage at a conference, or talking to some friends at a bar, one of the first things I notice is this glazed, slightly confused, definitely not interested look.

The good news is that in a few short minutes people's opinions change when they realise what augmented reality is, and how it makes their life a little easier in lots of little ways.

Augmented reality is quite simply overlaying virtual reality over actual reality.  This can be done in a variety of ways, but in every instance it helps to convey information in a simpler, more interactive and engrossing way.

Lets start with some real basic examples here.  Several decades ago movies began rolling credits across the film.  Whether it was a western view, watching a horse ride in to the sunset, or a gangster filled car carrying its occupants towards a crime, you would see some simple text floating across the screen, telling you who was staring in the upcoming epic movie.  

Right there we have some simple augmented reality, providing you with some virtual information to tell you about the 'real' life you are watching.  In more recent years augmented reality has even appeared in live TV.  If you watch any sports you will have undoubtedly seen the commentators drawing lines and circles over live video footage.

Until recently the technology behind this simple premise was limited to TV.  With more powerful handheld devices however, augmented reality has found a new home, with hundreds of games and apps providing games and information which overlay, or even incorporate, the real world.

Mobile Augmented Reality

Android and iPhone Augmented Reality Games and Apps

While augmented reality really has blossomed on TV over the last few years, an even bigger explosion is silently occurring in the mobile market. As both android and iPhone games and apps appear which use mobile cameras to overlay virtual reality on the world around you. 

You can find several games already which add virtual additions to the real world, whether you are sitting in the park, your desk, or even just sat at home. Uses have been found in the iPhone apps market as well, with GPS navigation laying instructions on the road ahead, and tour guides which can recreate history.

While the iPhone app market is enhanced a little, I have to admit my true fascination is with iPhone augmented reality games.  These games offer a new level of immersive gameplay because instead of killing, exploring or fighting in unknown fantasy lands, you can kill zombies in the street, fight off waves of aliens destroying your cities most famous landmarks, or maybe one day play Mortal Combat in your front garden?

This might seem like a simple technology, but it will vastly improve your gaming experience by turning a simple game in to an experience in your very own town.

iPhone Augmented Reality Game

Traveller-AR Uses Augmented Reality to Create an Immersing iPhone Game

This Augmented Reality video is courtesy of IngZ Inc.