Technology Uses for AR Anchors and Companies Utilizing Them


Augmented Reality Experience: A Look at AR Anchors

Anchoring the Augmented Reality Experience: A Look at AR Anchors

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the world around us. However, a key challenge in AR development is ensuring that virtual objects persist in the real world, even when the user moves their device. This is where AR anchors come in.

What are AR Anchors?

AR anchors are reference points that AR applications use to track the position and orientation of virtual objects in the real world. By anchoring virtual content to specific points in the environment, the AR experience remains stable and consistent, even as the user moves around.

There are two main types of AR anchors:

Type of AnchorDescriptionUse Cases
Device AnchorRefers to the position and orientation of the user's device itself.Often used as a starting point for placing virtual objects relative to the user.
World AnchorRefers to a specific point in the real world that is independent of the user's device.Enables persistent AR experiences where virtual objects remain in the same location even when different users view them. World anchors can be achieved through techniques like: * Visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping): Uses the device's camera to identify and track visual features in the environment. * LiDAR Scanning: Employs a LiDAR sensor to create a 3D map of the environment for precise anchor placement. * Cloud Anchors: Leverages cloud-based services to store and share world anchors across multiple devices.

Benefits of Using AR Anchors

  • Persistence: AR experiences become more interactive and engaging when virtual objects remain in the same location even after the user leaves and returns.
  • Collaboration: Cloud anchors enable multiple users to share the same AR experience, allowing for collaborative tasks and social interactions in the augmented world.
  • Accuracy: Precise anchor placement using LiDAR or cloud services improves the overall quality and believability of the AR experience.

Developing AR Projects with Anchors

Several AR development platforms and tools support the use of anchors. Popular options include ARKit by Apple, ARCore by Google, and Unity with its AR Foundation package. These platforms provide APIs and tools for developers to create, manage, and interact with AR anchors within their applications.

In conclusion, AR anchors play a crucial role in ensuring a stable and immersive AR experience. By understanding the different types of anchors and their functionalities, developers can create AR applications that seamlessly blend the virtual and real worlds.

Augmented Reality Experience: A Look at AR Anchors

AR Anchor Features (with Table)

AR anchors offer a variety of useful functionalities to create engaging and interactive Augmented Reality (AR) experiences. Let's explore these features in the following table:

Persistent Object PlacementAllows developers to place virtual objects at specific locations in the real world and keeps them there even if users move their devices.This is useful for applications like AR furniture, where users can see how new furniture would look in their space, or for step-by-step instructions that require virtual objects to stay in place.
Tracking and OrientationAR anchors not only track the position of a virtual object but also its orientation. This means virtual objects can remain aligned with the real world as users move their devices.This feature is beneficial for accurately displaying 3D objects, such as animal models or machinery that need to maintain proper orientation.
Multi-UserBy utilizing cloud anchors, multiple users can share the same AR experience and see virtual objects in the same location within the real world.This opens doors for AR collaboration, like playing AR games together or participating in a collaborative AR exhibit.
Enhanced AccuracySome methods, like LiDAR scanning, can be used with AR anchors to improve the accuracy of virtual object placement.This increased accuracy is crucial for applications that require very precise virtual object placement, such as in interior design or the medical field.
StabilityAR anchors help reduce drift that can sometimes occur in AR experiences. Drift is when the position of a virtual object gradually becomes out of sync with the real world as the user's device moves.By minimizing drift, AR anchors ensure a more stable and realistic AR experience.

In addition to the features listed in the table, AR anchors also offer some additional advantages, such as:

  • Flexibility: AR anchors can be used with various types of virtual objects, from simple 3D models to complex animations.
  • Ease of Use: Many AR development platforms provide tools and APIs that make it easy for developers to work with AR anchors.
  • Scalability: AR anchors can be used to create large-scale AR experiences that involve numerous virtual objects and users.

With these features and benefits, AR anchors become a powerful tool for developers to create immersive and feature-rich AR experiences.

Augmented Reality Experience: A Look at AR Anchors

Technology Uses for AR Anchors and Companies Utilizing Them

AR anchors offer exciting possibilities across various industries. By enabling persistent virtual objects in the real world, they open doors for innovative applications that enhance user experience and unlock new functionalities. Here's a table outlining some key technology uses and the companies leveraging them:

Technology UseDescriptionExample Companies
Product Visualization and PlacementAR anchors allow users to virtually place furniture, appliances, or other products in their real space to see how they would look and fit.Ikea Place (furniture), Wayfair (home goods), L'Oreal (makeup)
Maintenance and RepairTechnicians can use AR overlays with step-by-step instructions anchored to specific equipment components, facilitating maintenance and repair tasks.GE Aviation (aircraft engines), Boeing (airplane maintenance), Siemens (industrial equipment)
Education and TrainingAR anchors can be used to create interactive learning experiences where students can visualize complex concepts or manipulate virtual objects in a real-world setting.Quiver (coloring app with AR), Merck (pharmaceutical training), Google Arts & Culture (museum exhibits)
Marketing and AdvertisingAR experiences with anchored virtual objects can be used for product demonstrations, interactive marketing campaigns, or location-based advertising.Pepsi (interactive displays), Toyota (car dealerships), Sephora (virtual try-on)
Gaming and EntertainmentAR anchors can create location-based games where virtual elements are tied to specific real-world locations.Niantic (Pokemon Go), Jurassic World Live (AR companion app), Minecraft Earth (AR exploration game)

Additional Notes:

  • The table provides a few examples, and many other companies are exploring AR anchor applications.
  • The technology used with AR anchors can vary depending on the desired functionality. For instance, some applications might use LiDAR for high-precision object placement, while others might rely on visual SLAM for simpler use cases.

Benefits of Using AR Anchors for Businesses

  • Enhanced Customer Engagement: AR experiences create a more interactive and engaging way for customers to interact with products or services.
  • Improved Training Efficiency: AR-based training programs with anchored instructions can be more efficient and effective than traditional methods.
  • Streamlined Maintenance Processes: AR overlays with anchored information can simplify maintenance procedures and reduce errors.
  • Increased Sales and Marketing Reach: AR marketing campaigns with anchored virtual objects can grab attention and lead to higher sales conversions.


AR anchors are a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize how we interact with the world around us. As the technology matures and development platforms become more accessible, we can expect even more innovative applications to emerge across various industries. From enhancing customer experiences to streamlining maintenance processes, AR anchors hold immense potential to transform the way we live, work, and learn.