Five Augmented Reality Uses That Solve Real-Life Problems

The 4th industrial revolution is just around the corner: Augmented reality use cases to help make your everyday life easier.

Nar Poghos
Nov 9, 2019 · 6 min read

Most people perceive augmented reality in gaming and entertainment terms (blame Pokemon Go and AR’s flashy cousin, VR). However, major augmented reality developers like Meta, Arloopa, and Magic Leap (although in different dimensions) are now betting on productivity and problem solving, rather than just entertainment.

Learn more about recent AR and Spatial Computing developments from the speeches of field leaders at the AR in Action Leadership Summit 2019.

A couple of years ago, after the emergence of ARKit, and later ARCore (Google’s response to it), mobile augmented reality entered our orbit and has been rocking it ever since.

From the moment we got our hands on it, we knew it was something different, something with a high potential for broad public engagement, something that would undoubtedly grow past its initial novelty stage into creating real value for users.

So here we are now with 5 mobile augmented reality application domains with use cases. The ideas behind some of these have turned into startups, delivering value for businesses and individual users alike.

1. AR in Event Planning

Augmented Reality Cube

ARCube is a mini-information portal. It is basically an interactive cube that serves as a single go-to storage for all the key event information.

ARCube was first implemented as part of the Global Innovation Forum to offer participants a sci-fi experience of exploring conference content, such as:

  • Conference agenda
  • Information about speakers
  • Information about sponsors
  • Other useful conference info
AR Cube — Conference speakers’ list

The Cube is also designed in support of another worthy cause — it helps save the environment by reducing paper waste: one interactive information portal instead of tons of printed media, such as booklets, flyers, and catalogs.

Besides positioning event organizers as smarter and highly innovative, ARCube also helps build and share an information base with ease.

2. Augmented Reality in E-Commerce

Mobile e-commerce keeps growing at an enormous pace. In 2019, an estimated 1.92 billion people worldwide will purchase products online where around 67% of all purchases are made on a mobile device. Hence it is so essential to ensure an excellent shopping experience for mobile users.

Virtual Try-on in 3D

What do people do when they see a product they like? They want to try it. What do people do when they see a sought-after product on the Internet? They wonder if it will work for them. If that particular product is a watch, you have got it covered.

A DesignRush certified startup called AR-Watches allows users to try on watches virtually while shopping online.

Photo credit: Ramotion

AR-Watches is an app developed for both Android and iOS, which allows users to try on watches from different brands in 3D.

It comes with a paper wristband, which serves as a marker for AR to overlay the 3D image of watches onto a user’s wrist.

Photo credit: AR-Watches

This solution has 3 main benefits:

1) It can help boost sales online and cut down on returns significantly.

2) It can create a bridge between physical and online stores when the marker is given to customers to take home and play around with different styles.

3) It can be used for safety purposes when watches are tried on virtually rather than taking each item out of the shelf and increasing the risk of damage.

Augmented Reality Menu: A Virtual Preview of Food Orders

An app called Jarit (meaning fried potatoes!) has launched recently to allow people to see their potential food order in 3D before actually placing an order.

Photo credit:

The AR food preview experience can be used not only for online food ordering but also for restaurants and food chains.

This solution’s main benefit is that it enables customers to make informed decisions on their order, which, in turn, reduces the chances of a customer not liking the dish’s appearance. It can also display key information about each plate, such as ingredients and calories.

3. Augmented Reality in Political Campaigns

One very uncommon, yet efficient use of AR is in political campaigns, supporting social causes.

If scanned with the Arloopa app, the person in the image below comes to life with an important message.

The person is Minister of Education and Science of Armenia Arayik Harutyunyan, and this is his election campaign poster, which by itself was a bright, straightforward message to people that they were going to have an innovation-oriented education leader.

4. Augmented Reality in Education

Interactive Books

Traditional methods of education are gradually becoming a thing of the past, making way for innovative approaches.

Among the most significant trends in education technology, augmented reality rightfully takes a leading position.

AR can render objects that are hard to imagine and display them in the form of 3D models, thus making it easier for students to grasp the abstract and challenging content.

Here the textbook serves as a marker. Once the student scans a relevant image with a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, the image appears in the user’s real environment in 3D, thus giving a better idea of what the book is talking about.

Interactive textbooks also increase students’ engagement and make the learning process a lot more fun and rewarding.

This method is especially useful for visual learners and almost anyone translating theoretical material into a real concept. For example, Portugal’s Polytechnic Institute of Leiria integrates AR into math lessons, and students report it as helpful, easy, and engaging.

Distance Learning

AR-aided materials help students learn even outside the classroom. Add to that fact, online or distance learning can be more accessible and fun with interactive AR content.

Photo credit: Mondly

For instance, Mondly, a language-learning app, has integrated an AR-powered virtual tutor to help users practice their skills as if they were in a real-life setting.

5. Augmented Reality in Interior Design

Architects and designers are gradually integrating AR experiences in their business, as do online furniture stores. AR helps in the promotion of their new decoration ideas, giving a realistic picture of items, making customers feel confident before they buy.

Photo credit:

Great usage of AR in home decoration is by InteriAR, a startup that features an interactive AR app (Android/iOS). The app allows users to decorate their space in real-time by simply dragging and dropping furniture items from inventory into their real environment.

This helps users get a realistic understanding of the sizes of items and whether they would actually fit into their space. What’s more, several pieces can be combined into one scene to get a complete design.

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Nar Poghos

Written by

Fascinated about immersive tech, AR/VR, humanism, and writing. Contact for freelance writing.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +582K people. Follow to join our community.

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