9 Augmented Reality Examples

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Look into the world of augmented reality and discover innovative examples of how companies are already using it to gain a broader understanding of this technology.

[Featured Image] A woman uses her smartphone to shop online for furniture and see how it would look in her house, one of many augmented reality examples.

Augmented reality (AR) is a relatively new technology that, along with virtual reality (VR), is quickly changing the world in various areas, including learning, entertainment, product presentation, and engagement with others.

AR and VR fall under the umbrella of extended reality (XR), which had a market value of $106 billion in 2023, with experts anticipating it to grow to $472 billion by 2028 [1]. This substantial expected increase over the course of just five years indicates the rate that which AR is expanding and becoming a part of everyday life. With job opportunities growing, AR and VR careers are becoming popular as brands use AR to showcase and market their products.

Read more: Augmented Reality: Types of AR

What is augmented reality?

This technology integrates graphics, images, audio, and text into the physical world. It adds value to the three-dimensional world by allowing you to see how something may look, smell, feel, or sound without it being physically held or seen. Companies may use augmented reality for entertainment, education, or marketing products. 

AR is different from VR in that AR integrates elements into the real world, whereas VR creates a whole new, immersive virtual environment to access. 

Augmented reality examples

Companies increasingly see the benefits of using augmented reality to sell their products and services and enhance learning. It provides an immersive experience, allowing you to bring products into your world and experience them through sight, sound, touch, and even smell.

Take a look at some specific augmented reality examples where companies have used the technology innovatively and effectively. 

1. Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go came at a time when AR was emerging into the mainstream and gained a lot of attention for its immersive experience. Adults and children across the world enjoyed the interactive features of the game, which involved hunting simulated Pokemon in the real world through the use of an app. 

You ‘catch’ Pokemon using a device’s GPS to find them in their hidden locations. When you arrive at the right destination, AR superimposes digital images of Pokemon characters on a real-life location within the app. 

2. Adidas: Trying on shoes

You’ll find several augmented reality apps that allow you to try on clothes and shoes; possibly, the earliest version comes from Adidas. The company released this app during the pandemic, allowing consumers to virtually try on their shoes to see how they looked and even view them while walking or running. To use it, you point your smartphone towards your feet and view through the screen to see any shoes you wish to “try on.” 

3. Netflix and Stranger Things

Using AR is an entertaining way of marketing products, with customers using the tools to decide whether to purchase products. According to a Neilson Consumer’s NIQ survey, 51 percent of shoppers use technology to assess products before deciding to buy [2]. 

Another example of using AI to make a sale is how Netflix promoted the new season of Stranger Things using AI to present an immersive experience. Users could visit specific locations that triggered an AR experience, turning shopping isles into caves and woods, with monsters and spooky goings on, allowing you to feel like you were part of the Stranger Things series. 

4. Ikea: Furniture arrangements

You can imagine how that couch you're thinking of buying will look, but using AR allows you to view it exactly how it will appear in your living room with its unique dimensions and other furniture. You can choose different positions to pick the layout to envision the configuration that will work best. IKEA does this with its app, allowing you to view your home through your smartphone and add products to scale using VR. 

5. Home Depot: Color options

Just like AR can show you how furniture might look in your house, Home Depot allows you to change the color of your walls to test out paint ideas and different color palettes. Using AR, you can view your house through an app using your device’s camera. Once set up, you can choose a color and click on your virtual room to add the color to walls or objects. The app also has functions that make it realistic, such as accounting for lighting and shadows. 

6. Quiver: 3D coloring 

Augmented reality examples are prominent in education, with apps and programs to support learning. It is particularly useful for children through apps like Quiver, which combines real-life exercises with AR. In this case, your child can use the app to print off images they color using pens or pencils. They can then view the drawings on a smartphone through the Quiver app, which brings the pictures to life by viewing them through the phone screen, with options to make them move. 

7. Pepsi Max: An out-of-this-world experience

A famous use of AR for product marketing was the AR experience Pepsi put on back in 2014. Since then, the use of AR has grown, but this experience was one of the first of its kind. 

A London bus shelter was the scene, whereby, using AR, Pepsi created unbelievable images and scenes, making it appear like London was being invaded by flying saucers and aliens right in front of their eyes. The campaign attracted a huge audience and created a stir, building awareness of the company. 

8. Smithsonian Museum: Dinosaur experience

Several experiences at the Smithsonian Museum use AR, such as the Dinosaur Experience exhibition, which brings dinosaurs back to life and creates an underwater world where you can feel like you are swimming with orcas. The dinosaur experience is well known for making skeleton bones come to life, giving the bones skin and movement through a mobile app. 

9. Metro: AR newspaper

Augmented reality has found its way into print media, with newspapers adopting the technology to make their publications more engaging and exciting. With an AR app, you can click on a QR code and view the newspaper through your smartphone, making stories come alive as videos.

Get started in augmented reality. 

If you’re inspired to learn more about augmented reality, an online course is a great place to start. The Intro to AR/VR/MR/XR: Technologies, Applications, and Issues, delivered by the University of Michigan, gives you an overview of AR along with learning about extended reality in general. You may also consider a Professional Certificate, such as the Meta AR Developer Professional Certificate. Upon completing Meta's program, gain exclusive access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and career support. Both certificates are listed on Coursera. 

Article sources


Mordor Intelligence. “Extended Reality Market Size and Share Analysis - Growth and Trends Forecast 2023-2028, https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/extended-reality-xr-market.” Accessed March 27, 2024.

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