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What Are the Different Types of Augmented Reality for PC?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Personal Computer (PC) with a monitor and webcam can be used to demonstrate and interact with a number of different types of augmented reality for PC. Artistic works are among the most popular types of creations that can be both made and viewed through proper hardware and software on a computer. There are a number of companies that have used augmented reality for PC to create advertisements that are often more interactive and unique than standard ads. Some computer games have also been developed for use with this technology, though smart phones have been used more often for augmented reality games.

Augmented reality for PC refers to systems that use a monitor and webcam to create virtual assets that appear in real time video. For example, someone can print up a piece of paper with a particular code on it, which is a graphic that can be recognized by certain software. That person can then use a computer with a webcam to allow that software on a computer to “see” and identify the code on the paper. The resulting image is displayed on the computer and is the altered by adding a virtual object, such as a computer-generated model of a dinosaur, shown over the paper.

One of the most common ways in which augmented reality for PC can be used is in the creation of artistic works. An artist can, for example, create an elaborate three-dimensional (3D) image using computer software, and then create a code allowing an augmented reality program to recognize it. Other people could then view the artist’s work using augmented reality for PC software and a webcam. This allows an artist to show off digital works in 3D that may interact with their virtual environment.

Advertisers have also begun using augmented reality for PC in creating commercials and ads that are more intriguing than pop-ups or webpage ads. An advertisement might appear in a magazine, which can be scanned by augmented reality software on a computer with a webcam. This could then display a model of the advertised object in virtual, 3D space, showing a potential customer what the product really looks like. Such a relatively simple ad could create far more interest in a product than a photograph.

There are also some games that have been developed to use augmented reality for PC. These games are somewhat less common than those being designed to work with a smart phone, due to the additional features allowed by the portable nature of phones. Stable webcams, however, can allow players on two different PCs to interact with and battle each other using digital assets in a virtual model of their environment.

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