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6 Main Types of Augmented Reality Platforms and Their Uses

Augmented Reality (AR) stands out as a transformative force, blurring the lines between the physical and digital realms. AR enhances our perception of the natural world by overlaying digital information, graphics, or virtual objects onto the physical environment. As the AR landscape continues to evolve, various platforms have emerged to cater to different needs and applications. This article will explore the five main AR platform types and their diverse uses.

Mobile AR Platforms: Transforming Everyday Devices into AR Portals

Overview: Mobile AR platforms leverage the power of smartphones and tablets to deliver AR experiences. These devices, equipped with cameras, sensors, and powerful processors, serve as portable AR portals, allowing users to interact with augmented content in their immediate surroundings.


Gaming: Mobile AR gaming apps, such as Pokémon GO, have gained immense popularity by merging the virtual and real worlds, creating immersive gaming experiences.

Navigation: AR navigation apps provide real-time information about the user’s surroundings, offering enhanced directions and points of interest.

Retail and Shopping: Mobile AR visualizes products in a real-world environment before purchasing, revolutionizing the online shopping experience.

Smart Glasses AR Platforms: Wearable AR for Enhanced Productivity

Overview: Smart glasses AR platforms take augmented reality a step further by integrating AR capabilities directly into wearable devices. These glasses often feature displays, cameras, and sensors, giving users hands-free access to digital information.


Enterprise and Industry: Smart glasses find applications in manufacturing, where workers can access real-time information, schematics, and instructions without needing physical documents.

Healthcare: AR glasses assist medical professionals in surgeries, displaying patient data, vital statistics, and relevant information directly in their field of view.

Field Service: Technicians can benefit from AR glasses by overlaying technical information and instructions on the equipment they are working on.

Headset AR Platforms: Immersive Experiences in Extended Reality (XR)

Overview: Headset AR platforms provide immersive extended reality experiences, encompassing both augmented and virtual reality. These headsets come in various forms, from standalone devices to tethered headsets connected to robust computing systems.


Gaming and Entertainment: Headset AR platforms offer unparalleled gaming experiences, allowing users to interact with virtual environments and objects in a three-dimensional space.

Training and Simulation: Industries such as aviation and the military use AR headsets for training simulations, enabling trainees to practice complex tasks in realistic environments.

Collaboration and Communication: Virtual meetings and collaboration take on new dimensions with AR headsets, allowing users to interact with 3D models and data in a shared virtual space.

Web-Based AR Platforms: Making AR Accessible Through the Browser

Overview: Web-based AR platforms bring augmented reality to the browser, eliminating users needing to download dedicated applications. These platforms use WebAR technology to deliver AR experiences directly through web browsers.


Marketing and Advertising: Web-based AR is often used in marketing campaigns, enabling users to interact with AR content directly from a website, promotional material, or QR codes.

Education: Teachers can incorporate WebAR into educational materials, allowing students to access interactive content without additional apps.

Product Visualization: E-commerce websites leverage WebAR to allow customers to visualize products in their real-world surroundings before making a purchase.

Projection-Based AR Platforms: Transforming Surfaces into Interactive Displays

Overview: Projection-based AR platforms turn physical surfaces into interactive displays by using projectors to overlay digital content. This type of AR is especially effective in public spaces and events.


Retail and Events: Projection-based AR is used in retail settings to create immersive product displays and at events to engage audiences with interactive installations.

Education and Museums: Educational institutions and museums utilize projection-based AR to enhance exhibits, providing visitors with additional information and interactive experiences.

Entertainment: Live performances and concerts incorporate projection-based AR to create stunning visual effects and enhance the entertainment experience.

Choosing the Right AR Platform: Considerations and Future Trends

As organizations and developers explore the possibilities of augmented reality, choosing the right AR platform becomes crucial. Several factors influence this decision:

Use Case: Different AR platforms excel in specific use cases. Mobile AR may be ideal for consumer-facing applications, while smart glasses or headset AR might be more suitable for industrial or enterprise applications.

Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of the AR platform. Mobile AR and web-based AR are generally more accessible as they don’t require specialized hardware.

Interactivity: The level of interactivity required for your application should guide your choice. Projection-based AR and headset AR often provide more immersive and interactive experiences than mobile or web-based AR.

Integration: Evaluate how well the AR platform integrates with your existing systems, workflows, or applications.

Looking ahead, the future of augmented reality holds exciting possibilities. AR platforms will likely become more powerful, user-friendly, and seamlessly integrated into our daily lives as technology advances. The convergence of AR with other emerging technologies, such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), promises to unlock even more significant potential, ushering in an era where augmented reality becomes integral to how we interact with the world around us.

To start your journey with AR, grab a FREE Demo with SelfStylo today!