How Can Image Recognition Benefit Your Augmented Reality Program?

70% of consumers believe augmented reality (AR) helps them learn new personal and professional skills. Furthermore, workplace training, safety guides, and product demonstrations have been voted the top potential benefits of AR technology.

There’s no doubt that AR is a powerful learning tool, but how can organizations use all that AR has to offer to train their workforce? AR image recognition does just that and so much more. 

AR image recognition can be applied to learning in multiple ways. Consider the following two examples: 

  • Interactive Onboarding — Learners scan a poster, then place text and interactive videos onto it that teach them of the organization’s history, culture, and mission. 
  • Engaging Monthly Newsletters — Learners scan the page of a newsletter and view informational videos overlaid on top of images.

This is the first installment of Exploring The 3 AR Technologies. Part 2 explores plane detection, while part 3 covers object recognition. Part 1 of this series focuses on AR image recognition, explains its pros and cons, and provides two examples of its use in workplace training. 

AR image recognition is one of three AR technologies that overlays videos, text, images, and 3D objects on a real-world 2D image. AR image recognition offers a unique learning experience through overlaid digital elements that learners interact with and learn from.

Let’s learn more about AR image recognition!



What is AR Image Recognition?

AR image recognition is one of three AR technologies that brings digital content into the real world. The other two AR technologies are object recognition and ground plane detection. AR image recognition typically uses an AR app where learners scan real-world 2D images and overlay 2D video, text, pictures, or 3D objects on it. 

Image recognition is a marker-based AR technology. Think of a marker as an anchor that connects virtual content with the real-world. The marker can be an image, shape, or surface. Once the marker is detected by the application, the AR experience begins by placing preloaded digital content on top of it.  

With a mobile device or tablet, learners scan a static marker in the real-world, like a poster, then the AR application recognizes it and attaches digital elements to it, like informational text boxes or videos. Marker-based AR can be local, meaning data is stored on the phone or tablet itself, or cloud-based where data is stored on a remote server. 

Read More: What is Augmented Reality Training? Everything You Need to Know


Advantages and Disadvantages of Image-Based Learning

AR image recognition has the following three benefits:

  • Update Content Digitally — AR image recognition allows developers to update content digitally and still use the same static marker. For example, developers could update the wording for an informational text box attached to a poster through a remote, digital software. 
  • Increased Mobility — With AR image recognition, learners have the ability to move freely with their devices. Learners scan real-world images with ease, approach images from different angles, and walk up close to overlaid digital elements.
  • Repeatable — Unlike learning material that is delivered orally, AR image-based learning can be repeated at any time. If a learner forgets information or needs to repeat a process, they can do so with an AR image-based learning program. 

Although AR image recognition comes with unique benefits, this technology comes with its drawbacks. Many of these limitations are related to challenges posed by the real-world setting that learners must scan. 

  • Visual Contrast Is A Must — For the program to work, markers, like a poster, must have strong contrast to its borders. Otherwise, the program will not recognize the scan of the real-world image. 
  • Learners May Need Guidance With Technology — Not every learner knows how to operate the software and hardware necessary for AR image recognition. Organizations may need to provide tutorials or how-to’s regarding the use of technology to ensure learners are confident when learning. 

Read More: Big 4 Virtual Learning Constraints And How To Conquer Them


AR Image Recognition In Action: 2 Examples

Interactive Onboarding

AR image recognition can be used for employee onboarding. For example, learners walk up to a poster on the wall, scan it with an iPad, then view overlaid text, images, and videos. 

All of these digital features clearly present information about their new organization’s history, culture, and mission. For instance, there may be an overlaid video on the real-life poster that gives new employees a digital tour of the organization’s shop floor. 

We believe that proper onboarding is built with expert instructional design and engaging technologies, one of which is AR. Instead of a traditional onboarding program, learners complete this interactive onboarding experience with image recognition that’s guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. 

Read More: Build A Powerful Onboarding Program With Extended Reality

Engaging Monthly Newsletters

AR image recognition can be used for sharing exciting news and updates at an organization in a newsletter. Learners scan an image on the page of a printed or digital newsletter, then view informational videos overlaid on top of them. 

Videos could contain a wide variety of content, including, but not limited to:

  • Updates from leadership about the organization’s health and safety protocols
  • An interview with the employee of the month
  • A video tour of a recently opened location

This technology is an interactive way to keep employees up-to-date with what’s going on in the organization without requiring additional navigation to different sites and pages. Instead of a generic monthly newsletter that readers simply read and flip through, AR image recognition is a unique way to enhance your organization’s monthly newsletter with videos. 


Hit The Bullseye With AR Image Recognition!

We’ve covered everything you need to know about AR image recognition, from what it is to examples of its use in training. 

Feel free to check out more resources on all things AR at our website or kick start your AR journey with us today