The art of augmented reality is very real (video)

6 Feb 2016

Woman wearing glasses for augmented reality at Smau, international exhibition of information communications technology in Milan. Image credit: Stefano Tinti /

From heads up displays in Iron Man, to artificial intelligence in Minority Report and maps in Avatar, Hollywood has given us a glimpse of what’s possible with augmented reality technology. The rest is up to us.

But few people realise that not only is augmented reality a technology breakthrough, it is a seismic breakthrough in how we could potentially enjoy a panoply of art forms from design and animation to marketing and a whole lot more.

It could change our perception of communication, entertainment and information.

Augmented reality transposes digital information into the real world. It does this today mostly through the lens of smartphones and large displays, but very soon it will be through wearables and virtual reality products such as Microsoft’s HoloLens. The future is closer than you think.


AI cartoons by Marty Cooper

Feast your eyes on the creations of augmented reality artist Marty Cooper, who takes his cute little drawings of monsters and transposes them into real life. They are enchanting, engaging and a whole lot of fun.

Disney wants to transform the colouring book

Back in October, we revealed how Disney’s research division invented an augmented reality colouring book, showing how colouring with crayons and markers has a future in a world of digital devices like smartphones and tablet computers.

Augmented reality will transform video games

The world of video games is also about to undergo enormous change thanks to virtual and augmented reality. Imagine sitting at your desk playing a fighting game with your desk top as the landscape for the battle, as this Unreal Engine 4 AR plugin shows.

The future of home decoration as depicted by IKEA

The 2014 IKEA catalogue was pioneering because it gave consumers the ability to place virtual furniture in their own home with the help of augmented reality.

The future of Minecraft using AR

Minecraft is already revolutionising the lives of so many young people, but imagine pairing it with AR technology. Why didn’t they have this stuff when I was a kid?

Augmented reality could be a crowd pleaser

The entertainment potential of augmented reality in public places was explored in this National Geographic video.

The future of augmented reality

Hidden Creative has compiled a video demonstrating possible future uses of mobile augmented reality and computer vision. It’s quite compelling.

AR in marketing

AR in marketing is going to transform the advertising business. Pepsi Max got the ball rolling with an innovative marketing campaign that pranked commuters into seeing the unbelievable.

Augmented reality in real estate

In the UK the property industry is cottoning onto this and is already exploring how technology trends such as augmented reality can be employed to sell houses.

AR pranks

Of course you aren’t human if you don’t enjoy pranks, and the potential for AR technology to play jokes on people is never-ending. Here are a few videos to give you some belly laughs.

A handy explainer on how augmented reality works

If you are still a little unsure of how augmented reality works, this excellent YouTube video delves into the technology and looks at some of the companies – such as Metaio – who are leading the charge in this area.

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note – because sometimes the lighter side of STEM should be taken seriously, too.

Augmented reality image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years