Augmented Reality in education: an insight into an emerging industry

1. How Augmented Reality is transforming the education sector

Augmented Reality (AR) experiences in educational institutions, is an emerging trend, and it is estimated that by 2023 there will be 2.4 billion Augmented Reality mobile users worldwide. However, there were only 200 million users in 2015, so it is a sector of enormous growth. Many of us are only aware of AR being used in mobile games like Pokémon Go and social media platforms like Snapchat. However, education is another significant space where this technology can make a big difference.

AR is capable of augmenting computer-generated graphics into the real environment on screen. It means if you move your mobile camera to space, AR enables you to see a computer-generated object on your screen. Altogether, it happens in real time while you view it from your camera. This technique can enable students to learn in a more interactive environment.

2. Augmented Reality in education

With AR, classroom education can be extraordinary and more interactive, as AR can enable teachers to show virtual examples of concepts and add gaming elements to provide textbook material support. This will enable students to learn faster and memorize information.

AR in professional training

Industries like aerospace, aviation, hospitality, military, and others have to invest a huge amount of money and equipment in training. With AR, the expenses can be reduced and can make training interactive.

AR in eLearning applications

Now that students are having to learn from home, keeping students engaged in lectures has become very difficult. Thus, eLearning app owners are enthusiastically adopting AR technology. Altogether, Augmented Reality development is also boosting its prominence in the market.

AR-enabled eLearning applications render the augmented object on the screen and play 3D examples of concepts that allow students to learn and engage. Altogether, computer graphics are also being used extensively, which enable an object to be captured and show up in the augmented environment and render searches about the object. It means the application can capture the image of objects from the real environment and provide a detailed description of the object. You can also create your own eLearning application enabled with AR with a unique concept.

Leaving everything aside, AR applications in education enable a wide range of benefits. Here are some advantages of using AR in education:

Some of the benefits of AR technology in education

Incorporating immersive technologies like VR or AR into the field of education has been proven to boost learning effectiveness as well as student engagement. These experiences show better results compared to other ageing and established methods such as desktop computer experiences, books, and other media content channels.

What are the benefits that AR brings into the classrooms? At first, the most significant advantage of using augmented reality is the fascination of the new technology and the initial excitement it has on students. Students love novel hi-tech experiences to try for the first time and engage with However, there is much more to the benefits of AR that just trying it for the first few times.

A sense-based, memorable and effective learning system

AR in education allows students to gain knowledge through memorable visuals and immersion into the subject matter. Speech technology also engages students by providing comprehensive details about the topic in a voice-over format. As such, the concept of eLearning with AR targets the major information-gathering senses in humans.

Easy access to learning materials anytime, anywhere

Augmented Reality can replace textbooks, and printed brochures. This mode of mobile learning also reduces the cost of learning materials and makes it easy for everyone to access.

AR has many of the advantages of VR learning

VR is known to enhance student engagement, and memorisation of the learning material, as well as be able to provide the students with simulated experiences that would be impossible, impractical, or too expensive to experience any other way, such as going into space.

Engage students with their interests

The gamification of AR and the education system can make students’ attitudes more positive. It makes learning interesting, fun, and effortless and improves collaboration and capabilities. Moreover, it provides vast opportunities to make classes less tiring by infusing unmatched interactivity through a computer-generated environment. Students in the classrooms of the modern age probably spend quite a bit of their free time playing mobile and video games. As such, AR engages them in much the same way and provides a certain sense of familiarity that is relevant to their existing interests and hobbies.

It is not a secret that the new generation loves technology. The students’ enthusiasm for incorporating innovations into learning is high.

Kids and teens are genuinely interested in discovering AR, which makes them much more engaged in the process, more focused, and, thus, more motivated.

As the learning process becomes more fun and memorable, students will be more motivated to engage in the learning process more often with the new gadgets.

Higher Interactivity

Incorporating AR in the learning process makes it much more interactive. This keeps the students engaged and willing to participate in classroom activities. Thus, the quality of learning increases, and so do students’ academic performances.

Since students get more focused, attentive, motivated, and engaged with AR, they also show better performance. The more exciting and engaging the content is, the better is its understanding.

With the help of augmented reality, students can learn in the context of 3D spatial structure and animation. This also improves long-term memory retention.


With the right approach and plenty of creative imagination, this technology can be used for learning any subject, whether it be history, chemistry, art, biology, or any other field.

Some of the drawbacks of AR in the classroom in the present day

Although smartphone-based AR is very accessible, and all students should at least have a try, the more high-end professional quality AR headsets are very expensive and probably out of the reach of many educational institutions that could benefit from them. As such, there is not much incentive to create schooling experiences for these headsets, and instead hi end educational experiences for hi end hardware is usually reserved for more expert level training.

We are still in the earliest stages of this technology, as such, we can expect plenty of bugs, glitches, work in progress issues and missing features. Expenses could also be a problem as mentioned. It will take time for the hardware to mature and for the software and available content to also arrive at the hands of students.

Many of the benefits of AR tech may be better experience with VR technology, although this is certainly not true for all use cases such as the ones for which AR is essential, described ahead.

3. Some examples of AR apps for education

Now, that we have discussed some of the main benefits of AR in education, let’s look at some of the existing apps that are already changing teaching and learning for those who are getting involved.


This application offers users a rich digital experience. This tool was created to bring various objects to life. It works when a user scans any printed materials and then can watch them as they become real.

Although Layar isn’t meant specifically for education, it can still give students plenty of benefits if used in the classroom. With the help of this app, students can scan their textbooks and make their learning experiences much more fun.

Layar is an attractive, free augmented reality app full of user-generated content and compared to a lot of other free augmented reality apps, Layar is competently and attractively designed.

You select a ‘layer’ to add to your camera and this will display the points of your interest. 

the layers are often created by third parties and other uses, so this is a service that is heavily dependent on outside contributions, like Wikipedia is for encyclopaedic content.

This app has a well-designed interface, gives it a professional feel. When taken out of the classroom, you can point the smartphone at objects and building around town and see information about them. Layar demonstrates how augmented reality can help us every day and feels like the future of local information.

Elements 4D

Elements 4D is an app that has the capability to illustrate various chemical elements and the reactions they have using Augmented Reality. This is an app that is designed to inspire and engage students about science and chemistry in an interactive way. Elements 4D uses augmented reality to help students explore the chemical elements and the resulting chemical reactions. 

The app adds a fascinating way of learning about chemistry without having to engage in expensive specialized experiments. The augmented reality feature works well, with the app smoothly overlaying information over the real world, and even depicting chemical reactions seamlessly and in a fun way.

Elements 4D is a combination of an Apple app and 6 wooden blocks that allow a user to interact with different elements and view info about each element. Also, students will be able to create molecular compounds out of the different blocks and have them interact. It also provides a detailed, interactive picture of the element. 

TranslatAR: A mobile augmented reality translator

TranslatAR is a mobile augmented reality translation system, using a smartphone’s camera and touchscreen, that requires the user to simply tap on the word of interest once in order to produce a translation, presented as an AR overlay. The translation seamlessly replaces the original text in the live camera stream, matching background and foreground colours estimated from the source images. It uses an algorithm for accurately detecting the location and orientation of the text in a live camera stream and combines it with character recognition and a text-to-text translation engine.

This is an amazing app for language students to be able to conveniently translate and words they don’t know from another language on the go or in the classroom, it provides much more convenience than having to manually search. It also has a certain fun factor that amazing students when they first see it working on their phone.

4. Conclusions

Augmented Reality can bring a breakthrough to the traditional education system by transforming the complete learning experience. As AR becomes more mainstream, it will also engage the interest of students and enhance their educational experiences. This will help students in comprehending concepts in an immersive environment, which will simplify concepts and make learning easy. Education institutions will also gain a lot of attention from prospective students by offering an excellent learning experience through this emerging technology.

Based on the fast development of this technology the possibilities we have seen already; it is fair to say that the future of AR is bright. The interest in this technology across different areas keeps growing. Today, it has already found application in business, education, gaming, and a range of other niches.

As for the future of AR in education, there are still some concerns about how practical is compared to more traditional teaching methods. However, it looks like both teachers and students are quite optimistic about incorporating this opportunity into the learning and teaching process.

AR has a huge potential to be widely used in schools and colleges across the globe in the reality near term, indeed we are in the process of seeing the roll out, first to more prestigious institutions and then to others. We are now seeing the start of something that could be transformative, although it is still in the early growing stages. It is a technology that will fascinate, entertain, and educate many generations of students in the future.