Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance

Key AR terms

Area Glossary

Augmented Reality has been the subject of scientific and engineering research for decades but has only recently been brought to the attention of wider audiences. As the concept is broad, it is easily confused with other new and emerging technologies with which it shares attributes.

The AREA has compiled the following list of key AR terms and their definitions to help enterprises understand what distinguishes AR from other technologies and to provide a helpful reference when reading about AR-specific tools and concepts.

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Head-Worn Display

Head-Worn Displays are a common display technology for augmented reality, spanning everything from lightweight smart glasses to more elaborate goggles and projection displays.

Heads-Up Display (HUD)

A Heads-Up Display is a display technology in which relevant information is presented to the user overlaid on his/her field of view on a transparent surface in user-centric manner. The information follows the user’s movements and does not have any spatial relationship with the surrounding environment. HUDs were originally developed for use by fighter pilots.

Hardware (AR-specific)

Presentation of Augmented Reality experiences can use a wide range of display or projection technologies and, in some cases, also have auditory or haptic forms. For visually presenting an Augmented Reality experience, a tablet with a front-facing camera, or, in some conditions, a hands-free wearable display (often called “smart glasses”) is proposed.

Virtual Reality requires hardware that entirely masks the physical world around the user. With VR the user doesn’t move around outside of a well-defined space because not being able to see the physical world raises significant risks (e.g., walking off of platforms, running into walls, tripping over objects, etc.).

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