What is Augmented Reality?

Technology continues to evolve and change the way the world works. Just in the last decade, things like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have stormed to the forefront of society and become a part of everyday life. From mobile games like Pokémon GO to VR headsets like the Oculus Quest to Snapchat filters to virtual reality art exhibits augmented and virtual reality have expanded what is possible with a smartphone or headset. So, what exactly is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is a type of 3D technology that lets you see the real world in front of you, but with digital augmentation overlaid on it. This can be done through your smartphone’s camera or through AR goggles and headsets. Just like in real life, when you move or turn, the AR projections change accordingly to match the world around you, often revealing new projections.
In addition to fun mobile games and face-altering filters, augmented reality is also being used for more practical purposes, like:
  • Doctors and other medical staff use AR technology to see 3D projections that help them with surgeries.
  • The IKEA Place app, which uses AR to show you what a certain piece of furniture will look like in your home.
  • Sports broadcasts use AR to project field lines and advertisements on the playing field as well as to draw illustrations to explain plays.
  • Fighter pilots in the military have an AR projection in their helmets that shows them things like their speed, altitude, and more.
  • Museums use AR to create memorable experiences for guests. AR apps can provide detailed explanations for exhibitions or an interactive touch to a display.
  • AR makes projections of ancient civilizations and sites possible, like overlaying a projection of Pompeii, Italy on top of the ruins still located there today.
  • Certain navigation systems use AR to overlay the mapped route over the live view of the road.

The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation is happy to offer our very own AR Balloon Fest Ap, which is an augmented reality experience where you can host your very own balloon rally. Sometimes, Balloon rallies can be elusive due to location, weather or pandemics and now you can always overlay a rally to your personal experiences with this app! Using your smartphone, you can take memorable pictures of friends and family surrounded by a beautiful balloon rally, no matter the location, time of day or weather. You can download it for free from the App Store or the Google Play store.

The Balloon Museum Foundation proudly raises awareness, involvement, and funds for the Balloon Museum. Our goal is to uplift the Museum through project collaboration, artifact donations, and shared information and resources. The Balloon Museum Foundation also holds special events during The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year, which is the world’s largest balloon festival that lasts nine days at the beginning of October. The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Foundation hosts the best seat in the house for Balloon Fiesta 2023. Find out more about the Fiesta and how you can support our efforts by becoming a member, donating, volunteering, or purchasing a wall tile today!