The phrase Augmented Reality is one that is becoming more and more commonplace these days. With the abundance of mobile phone deals for new devices and the inclusion of cameras on them, apps are starting to be seen that take in a picture of the world through the lens, and put it onto the screen; modified in some way. There are a few examples of how this can be useful.

One such app uses your phone’s built in GPS and camera to show you directions and point out places of interest. Say you’re looking for a restaurant that you can’t quite find. The GPS will locate your position, and your distance to the restaurant. The screen will then show you an image with a pointer showing which way to go, and where the restaurant is. This can be particularly useful for people who are new to areas they are visiting, or are starting a new job and unsure of the location of the office. These are just a couple of examples of how this technology could be used.

There is also a potentially fun aspect to it. Using the image taken by the camera, you can superimpose other images onto the world. Say you’re taking a picture of a relative; an augmented reality app might allow you to add a funny nose or crazy hairstyle to the picture before you took it. Things like this could easily be used in educational environments, allowing children to see the names of objects around them, or how to spell the names of those objects.

There are millions of potential applications for technology such as this, and we have only scratched the surface here. Augmented reality will become more common as we move into the future, and it’s a very exciting future indeed.