The Impact of AR in Real Life: Transforming Everyday Experiences

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by tech-n-design

Augmented Reality (AR) is now a tangible part of our routine, changing the way we engage with the world around us, with real-life examples that showcase its diverse applications and growing impact.

Shopping, navigation or learning you name it – AR’s overlay of digital enhancements on our physical world is shifting experiences across various sectors.

If you’re curious to learn of some of the coolest AR solutions available, take a look at our previous discussion here.

Exploring Augmented Reality in Our Daily Routines

Augmented reality, once perceived mainly as a marketing tool, has woven itself into the fabric of our daily lives. From navigating unfamiliar city streets to trying on clothes online, augmented reality AR technology continues to redefine our interactions with the digital and physical world, creating smarter and more intuitive applications. Expect more innovative solutions in the future with augmented reality developments, including advancements in virtual reality.

The market for augmented reality is on track for substantial expansion, and it is expected to grow from $93.67 billion in 2024 to $1,869.40 billion by 2032. But how exactly does AR enhance our daily routines? Let’s see some specific applications in navigation, retail, and education.

AR Navigation: Beyond Traditional Maps

  • Google’s Live View in Maps leverages AR to help pedestrians with directions and location identification by overlaying digital arrows and information onto the real world as viewed through a smartphone camera.
  • AR navigation aids in navigating complex indoor environments such as malls, museums, and educational institutions, making it easier for visitors to find their way and learn about their surroundings without the need for a physical guide.
  • In the travel and tourism industry, AR offers a new dimension to guided tours, allowing for personalized experiences by providing digital information on demand about attractions and landmarks, directly through a user’s device.
  • Maritime navigation has also benefited from AR technology. Systems like those developed by Mitsui O.S.K Lines and Furuno enhance situational awareness on ships by overlaying critical navigation information, such as the locations of other vessels and navigational aids, directly into the line of sight of the watchkeeper, reducing cognitive load and improving safety​ (Thetius)​.

Virtual Try-Ons in Retail

The retail sector has been one of the early adopters of AR technology, revolutionizing the online shopping experience. Augmented reality allows customers to:

  • Transform the way we shop

  • Streamline the decision-making process

  • Increase customer satisfaction

In furniture shopping, AR technology takes the experience a notch higher. It enables customers to:

  • View and place virtual furniture in their homes, removing guesswork and enhancing satisfaction

  • Utilize virtual try-ons and measuring spaces within a home

  • Real estate agents or homeowners looking for a quick and cost-effective way to stage a home for sale

Interactive Learning with AR

Education is another sector where AR is making significant strides. From primary schools to higher education institutions, AR is transforming the way we learn. AR enables students and educators to interact with interactive content, leading to a deeper grasp of complex subjects and an improved learning experience overall.

Maryville University discusses the benefits of AR in education, including student engagement and content understanding: Augmented Reality in Education: Interactive Classrooms.

Person using AR glasses in daily life

The Role of AR in Professional Fields

Beyond our daily routines, AR technology is also transforming professional fields, streamlining workflows and enhancing efficiency across industries. From the manufacturing sector to the medical field, AR technology continues to redefine how medical professionals work and collaborate.

Let’s take a closer look at how AR is making waves in professional fields such as manufacturing, and brand recognition.

Enhanced Manufacturing and Design with AR

AR is also making significant strides in manufacturing and design. It helps visualize complex processes, enhancing efficiency and accuracy. For instance, in the automotive industry, AR is used to visualize potential vehicle features and complex concepts, helping to understand vehicle components better.

AR also offers interactive instructions displayed directly over work tasks, reducing manual checks and speeding up task completion. Furthermore, 3D visuals provided by AR guide workers in machinery operation and troubleshooting, improving maintenance and repair efficiency in manufacturing.

Business Applications of AR for Brand Recognition

In the business world, AR is being used to:

  • Create engaging experiences that enhance consumer engagement and brand recognition

  • Utilize AR technology to create more engaging and interactive campaigns

A notable example of a highly engaging AR campaign is Pepsi’s AR bus shelter ad, which created emotional connections with consumers. Another innovative application was during London Fashion Week, where Three UK leveraged AR to transform a Vogue cover girl into a 3D digital model, demonstrating the possibilities of 5G network technology.

Everyday Entertainment Transformed by AR

AR is not only transforming our daily routines and professional fields but also redefining entertainment. From gaming to historical site tours, AR is creating more immersive experiences, often extending narratives and fostering deeper connections.

Catching Virtual Creatures: The Gaming Revolution

AR has revolutionized the gaming industry, and Pokémon Go is a prime example. The game cleverly overlays digital creatures onto the real-world environment, bringing a whole new dimension to gaming.

Players are encouraged to venture out into their local communities to catch virtual creatures, turning physical surroundings into integral parts of the game and potentially benefiting local businesses around the game’s hotspots. In this way, AR gaming creates a unique blend of the virtual world and the real one.

AR Tours: A New Way to Experience Historical Sites

AR apps enhance tours by providing visitors with animated reconstructions and characters, making the experience more compelling and informative.

Museums like the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London are using AR to provide more engaging and informative exhibits. Visitors can use AR applications to:

  • Access extra information about exhibits via their smartphones or other AR-enabled devices

  • View 3D models and animations that bring exhibits to life

  • Take virtual tours of exhibits or historical sites

  • Play interactive games and quizzes related to the exhibits

This captivating and interactive educational experience, unlike virtual reality, takes place in the physical environment, utilizing virtual objects to enhance learning.

The Evolution of AR Devices and Accessibility

Wearable devices is making AR more accessible and versatile.

From Google Glass to Next-Gen AR Eyewear

Next-gen AR eyewear  / wearable devices

Google Glass, Apple Glasses and Vuzix Blade. These devices offer advanced features such as gesture-controlled commands, ANSI Z87.1 eye protection, adaptive displays, absorbing visuals, and integration with existing technology ecosystems.

Despite the advances, challenges such as achieving a balance between functionality and design, weight reduction, and user adoption remain. However, as AR eyewear technology continues to evolve, future developments will likely focus on overcoming these hurdles.

The Intersection of AR and Artificial Intelligence

Another exciting development in AR is its intersection with artificial intelligence (AI). AI enhances AR applications by enabling real-time decision-making and providing personalized user experiences.

For instance, AR applications enhanced with AI can adapt to user movements and gestures for more intuitive interactions. AI’s capabilities in object recognition and improved data processing contribute to the development of more accurate and interactive AR applications.

This combination of AI and AR technologies can lead to versatile applications especially in healthcare.


How is AR enhancing outdoor experiences, such as hiking or city tours?

AR can transform outdoor adventures by overlaying digital information onto natural and urban landscapes, making hikes or city tours more informative and interactive. For example, AR apps can identify and provide details about flora and fauna during hikes or historical facts and architectural information during city tours, all in real-time as you explore. This enriches the experience by connecting users more deeply with their surroundings and offering educational value that’s both engaging and accessible.

Can AR contribute to environmental conservation efforts?

AR can raise awareness and inspire action by visualizing the impact of climate change or pollution through immersive experiences. For instance, AR apps can show the effects of deforestation or melting glaciers over time, providing a powerful visual argument for conservation efforts.

AR educational programs can simulate ecosystems, helping users understand the importance of biodiversity and the consequences of human actions on the environment.

What role does AR play in improving accessibility for individuals with disabilities?

AR technology offers ground-breaking possibilities for enhancing accessibility. It can provide visual or auditory assistance to people with visual impairments by identifying and describing their surroundings or translating sign language in real time. For those with mobility challenges, AR can offer navigational aids in public spaces, suggesting accessible routes and providing virtual assistance. These applications demonstrate AR’s potential to create more inclusive environments by addressing specific needs and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

How does AR facilitate remote collaboration and training in professional settings?

AR tools can enable professionals to share their vision and ideas in 3D space, regardless of their physical location, making it easier to review designs, prototypes, or data visualizations together in real-time. For training purposes, AR can simulate work environments for new employees, offering hands-on experience without the need for physical presence or risking safety, which is particularly valuable in fields like manufacturing, healthcare, and emergency services.

What future innovations can we expect from AR technology?

Wearable technology, such as AR contact lenses and more advanced AR glasses, aims to offer real-time information and assistance without the need to use hands or look down at a screen, making digital interactions more natural and intuitive.

As AI technology advances, we can expect AR applications to become more personalized, offering experiences tailored to the user’s preferences, behaviours, and needs. Another exciting prospect is the combination of AR with other technologies like 5G, which will enable faster, more reliable AR experiences that are more involving and complex.


AR devices and AR-enabled apps on smartphones are making this technology more accessible, while real-life examples of AR are showing significant strides in various sectors.

The intersection of AR with AI is opening new possibilities for real-time decision-making and personalized user experiences. As technology continues to evolve, we can only anticipate more innovative applications that will continue to transform our everyday experiences.

Project Manager (PMP), Interior Designer and 3D visualizer. Member of the Project Management Institute - Netherlands Chapter.

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