Geo AR, or location-based Augmented Reality, places virtual elements into the user’s real-world environment into fixed, real-time locations. Geo AR doesn’t use markers, such as a product’s packaging. Instead, it uses the data provided by the phone’s GPS readings to essentially use the world around the customer as an AR experience.
Once the GPS data is read, then the Geo AR experience analyzes the user’s surroundings. This can take place indoor or outdoor. It then determines the user’s points of interest (POI). Virtual elements are then placed based on that particular environment the user has chosen to activate the AR.
One of the most popular examples of Geo AR is the game Pokemon Go. The game used the player’s phone’s GPS coordinates and geographical POIs to determine where to place the creatures into the user’s real world. The players were then tasked to go find and collect these virtual CGI animals.
These experiences can also be created to add a virtual layer to an existing real-world experience. A museum for example can use Geo AR to provide more information about its pieces of art. By reading the geographical location of the user in real time, the art information would appear for the user without the need for them to prompt it. The same could apply for a landmark, such as Rome’s Coliseum.
Besides tourism and entertainment, Geo AR could also be used as a form of advertising for brands to engage customers in new interesting ways. Through interacting with customers with AR, a map can be shown directing them to stores they can visit to buy the product.