Your Guide to Augmented Reality

A whole new virtual world is at your fingertips.

Augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality – these terms seem to become more prevalent by the day. But what exactly do they mean in relation to your smartphone? Here, we’ll explore the basics of smartphone-based augmented reality as well as a few of its most popular manifestations.

What is augmented reality?

Unlike virtual reality, which provides users a fully immersed experience in a virtual world, augmented reality delivers virtual enhancements to the world as it is. This typically involves looking at a screen, such as your smartphone’s display, which will present both your actual surroundings and certain virtual elements, depending on the application. Augmented reality can also refer to livestream viewing – like a sporting event, for example – that features similar virtual elements, such as informational boxes.

Hand holding phone with Pokemon Go character in the camera viewfinder.

Examples of augmented reality apps

Google Translate allows you to view worlds presented in one language in reality – on a sign, for example – in a different language on your phone screen.

For several years, smartphones have offered an easy opportunity to experience augmented reality in a wide variety of ways. Here are just a few of the most well-known examples of smartphone AR:

  • Pokémon Go: You’re probably already well-versed in the world of Pokémon Go. Certain real-life locations offer players free items, while others serve as gyms, which are hubs for battling other trainers in order to claim the gym as your own.
  • Google Translate: Google Translate allows you to view words presented in one language in reality – on a sign, for example – in a different language on your phone screen. The feature employs your camera to display the words as if it were really there.
  • Sky Map: Ever wondered which stars are visible from your location after dark? Sky Map allows you to identify stars and constellations, planets, and much more. Just direct your camera at the section of the sky you’d like to explore, and it’ll show up right on your phone screen with information on what’s there.
Dive into augmented reality with a new service plan

The augmented reality landscape is expected to change significantly in the near future, so there’s no better time to prepare. Bring your own phone over to one of our dependable, no-contract service plans to ensure you have the data you need to take these apps on the go.