Augmented Reality Technology: Practical Applications

Before we analyze some of the practical applications of augmented reality technology, let’s take a look at what it is and its origins and history.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (or AR) is a technology that offers interactive experiences by combining physical and virtual space.

A technology that can change the real world through different digital details by overlaying different environments.

Digital development that merges the real world with graphical content displayed in a physical environment with the implementation of technological resources.

Pokemon GO is an example of what augmented reality is by connecting the physical world with the virtual.

But what is the historical origin of this augmented reality technology?

Origins and History of Augmented Reality

As with the term robot, the origins of augmented reality as a concept can also be found in literature: notably in 1901 in a novel by Lyman Frank Baumwho is also known as the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the saga that followed.

in The master keythe author envisions electronic glasses that can display additional information about the people you’re looking at.

To find the first technological application, we go back to 1957, when the inventor and cinematographer Morton Holly offer a multi-sensory user experience with visual elements.

Almost two decades later, in 1973, a computer artist Myron W. Krueger designed the first augmented reality installation, mixing video cameras with a projection system that creates an interactive environment that responds to users’ movements through movements and shadows.

We have to go back to the early 1990s to find the first definition of augmented reality as such. Boeing engineer Tom Cowdell coined this term to refer to the set of devices used by electricians in aircraft factories when performing complex wiring.

What are the practical applications of augmented reality?

Now that we know what augmented reality is and a brief historical overview of its origins, let’s look at some of the practical applications that this technology can have in various sectors.


Based on the premise that humans retain 10% of what we read or 20% of what we hear versus 90% of what we experience, it seems like a good idea to implement technologies that push in that direction.

Therefore, augmented reality applied in education helps to optimize the effectiveness of learning with the following advantages:

  • A better explanation in abstract subjects, especially in those complex matters presented in three-dimensional models.
  • entertainment. The added fun that a gamified approach to education can generate is a source of motivation and engagement. Therefore, it generates a higher degree of attention.
  • Self discovery. Students will be able to communicate on their own and discover and learn new things during visits to cultural institutions, museums, etc.
  • Distance learning can help reduce the digital divide.
  • Confirmation of the theory. The fact that we have this technology obviously does not remove the theoretical part of education, but it can be of great help in reinforcing these concepts thanks to much more tangible practical explanations with the support of these virtual practices.


We can talk about many advantages of the application of augmented reality in the field of healthcare, but perhaps with a concrete example it will be simpler.

Already in 2019, and thanks to the combination of augmented reality with 5G, it was possible to develop the first expert system to support operations based precisely on 5G technology.

Specifically, up to seven endoscopic digestive surgeries were performed in the Spanish city of Malaga, assisted remotely from Japan, a milestone made possible by 5G (and its low latency and high speed) and augmented reality.

Medical education can also benefit from augmented reality (along with other technologies), helping to provide a real-time co-immersive experience also during a surgical procedure, as well as creating a knowledge base to take a step forward in distance learning.


Among the applications that augmented reality offers to tourism are historical recreations of the past (such as medieval Segovia) or the enjoyment of notable events at any time of the year, such as Easter Week in Malaga.

As in other augmented reality applications, the combination of this technology with 5G allows for a different and enriching experience for the user.

Another of the new elements that augmented reality offers to tourism is the possibilities of gamification, which help, through challenges or games, to discover in a more pleasant or entertaining way the curiosities of the places visited, something that can sometimes be especially useful for making the visit fun for children.

Industry 4.0

In the industrial sector, augmented reality can be of great benefit in various industrial processes, often in conjunction with 5G technology, such as:

  • productionsaving costs and time by being able to detect possible errors during development.
  • Support. The ability to perform this task remotely also saves time, as skilled personnel can attend to needs at different locations.
  • Safety. Thanks to the visual support provided by the RA, workers can count on a higher degree of protection in the event of an emergency.
  • The logistics. In plants or buildings, especially larger ones, augmented reality can be useful to find the required materials faster.
  • Sales. Product explanations with augmented reality technology can make them more visual and more appealing to customers.


Augmented reality helps improve the user experience in various fields with the aggregation of virtual elements in real physical environments by installing applications on various devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops.

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