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Augmented reality has become a more significant mainstay in our lives, and as more people familiarize themselves with this wondrous technology, they begin to better understand the terms applicable to the AR specific language. No longer is AR terminology reserved to niche publications. It has made its way into online game forums, consumer electronic media, and AR glasses specifications. 

With augmented reality’s presence ever-increasing, we believe that it is important for people to be more familiar with AR terminology. For that reason, we have compiled a list of the most commonly used terms and acronyms in the augmented reality realm, and briefed a simply digestible definition for each.

AR Terminology

AR Advertising 

One of the hardest aspects of conducting an online sale is the lack of the ability for the consumer to physically handle the product. But AR provides a solution that is the next best thing, allowing prospective consumers to interact with a brand’s product through use of animations and 3D objects, for a much more exciting and immersive experience. Such interactions engage customers in a meaningful way and help to perpetuate customer loyalty. 

ARKit and ARCore

These terms refer to the pair of SDKs (software development kits), one supported by Android, and the other by Apple. These tools help innovative developers to use mobile operating systems to generate native AR applications.

Augmented Reality Face Effects

Commonly seen as filters on various social media platforms, this is a popular feature that allows the conversion of user’s faces into a variety of different characters (aliens, monsters, animals, etc.). 

Augmented Reality Measuring

This term is commonly found in apps hosted by shopping applications, especially in the realm of home improvement and interior design/furnishing. The app permits the performance of accurate measurements of areas around the home in real-time, using virtual measuring tape.

AR Overlay

This term implies the integration of a fake 3D object being superimposed into a real-world image, thus producing a holographic, 3D effect where the fake object exists in the same field of view as a real life one.

Augmented Reality Shopping Experience

This is the virtual equivalent of “try it before you buy it” for the digital customer. The term essential signifies the ability of a user trying a product out virtually before making the commitment to invest in it.

AR Software Development Kit (AR SDK)

Arguably the most common developer term, the SDK is a tool set that permits the development of AR applications on specific platforms. Some examples of such SDK’s include ARKit (for apps on the Apple iOS platform), as well as ARCore (for apps on the Android platform).

CAD (Computer Aided Design)

This term refers to the leveraging of specialised software for the purpose of rendering a digital representation of products or objects, which are grafted into 3D models that are then added into a real world image.

Computer Vision

This term refers to the type of technology which permits the scanning of existing objects by machines in order to interpret what those objects are, a very basic concept in any augmented reality experience.

Extended Tracking

This term is more of a technical one in nature, meaning that the augmented object remains in the user’s line of sign even when the initial image has been removed from the field of view.

Field Of View

The area visible to the user either on their mobile device screen or through special augmented reality glasses. 


The simulation of an experience that more closely resembles a game. This could include the customer’s interaction with a product where the user is prompted to perform a particular action with a chance to win a prize for doing so.

Geo AR

Technology that permits location-based AR experience development, meaning that to launch the experience the users do not require a physical trigger.


Possibly the most common AR term, this one represents a 3D image manifested through a projection of light onto a transparent display, which can either be dynamic/interactive or stationary/static.

Social AR

The leveraging of augmented reality through social media for the purposes of engaging users with creative interactions. This represents a varied array of aspects from manipulative effects of images and videos to live, reality altering face filters.

SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping)

Technology that helps seamless placement of 3D objects into a real-life environment.

WebAR (Web Based AR, App-less AR)

Technology that allows augmented reality to be experienced through the utilization of an internet browser rather a dedicated app.

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