Augmented reality, or AR, is technology that blends virtual content with real-world surroundings. Unlike virtual reality, which immerses you in a self-contained digital world, AR overlays 3D graphics and interactive characters into your everyday world.
In the hit game Pokémon Go, players use their smartphones to catch Pokémon characters in the local park or at the office. Released in July 2016, the game was downloaded faster than any mobile app in history and generated nearly $1 billion in revenue in its first six months.
Yet despite Pokémon Go’s huge numbers, when surveyors asked average Americans what they thought about augmented reality, the majority of people didn’t have a clue. In a ReportLinker survey conducted last September — the same month that Pokémon Go downloads topped 500 million — 58 percent of Americans said they were “not at all familiar with” augmented reality. Awareness was slightly higher among famously connected millennials.