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What is AR Object Recognition? Less Than 100 Words

Augmented Reality (AR) object recognition attaches a digital 3D model to a real-world object. By attaching a 3D model to a real-world object, learners can pick up the object or manipulate it by taking it apart, exploring its parts, and reassembling it. 

AR object recognition can build rich and interactive experiences with 3D objects, but also has its limits. AR object recognition comes with the following pros and cons.


  • Avoids needing real-world equipment or on-site training
  • Beneficial for microlearning
  • Cost-effective


  • May need occasional software and hardware updates
  • Lacks soft-skill learning

Ready to learn more about AR object recognition? Let’s dive into what it is, how it differs from image targeting and plane detection, and the pros and cons of its use. 

What is AR Object Recognition?

AR Object Recognition attaches a digital 3D model to a real-world object that learners can pick up and manipulate. Learners can target a real-world object and place a digital model on it that they can examine, take apart, and reassemble.

This type of technology can help organizations meet their training and learning goals in a safe, experiential learning environment. For example, learners can scan a real-life cube, place a simulated 3D car on that cube, then interact with the car by picking up the cube and examining the simulated car for its parts. 

Read More: Object Recognition in Augmented Reality

Object Recognition vs. Image Targeting vs. Plane Detection

There are three types of AR technology, each with their own distinct features. 

  • Object Recognition — A digital 3D model is fixed to a real-world object that can be picked up and moved around. Real-world 3D objects are scanned, and then a 3D simulated model is attached to it. For example, learners can target a real-world object, like a cube, and place a simulated 3D car model on this object. Learners can pick up the actual cube and physically manipulate and interact with the model by opening the doors, hood, or even starting the car.  

  • Image Targeting — Video, text, images, or 3D objects overlay a real-world 2D image. Image targeting uses an image in the real-world, scans and places the image in the app, and attaches 3D objects to it. This is a fun way to keep employees up-to-date with what’s going on in the organization, as well as onboard new employees.
  • Plane Detection — A digital 3D model is fixed to a real-world flat surface that is typically stationary, so you can move around it. After scanning a real-world flat surface, a simulated 3D model is placed in the real environment. Learners can examine details of the 3D model, as well as walk around and inside of it. For example, learners can place a 3D car into a parking lot, walk up close to a tire, and learn how to change a caliper. 

Pros of AR Object Recognition

There are many benefits to using object recognition in AR for learning and training programs.

  • AR object recognition takes away the need for actual equipment training on-site. This means that learners can practice working with simulated objects in a safe environment from anywhere. Especially in remote training environments, this technology can be beneficial for learners. 
  • AR object recognition is beneficial for microlearning, as it focuses on one definable object, skill, and process. 
  • AR technology is cheaper than virtual reality (VR), especially if the organization already has tablets or employees have phones they can use. Also, if the organization already has the hardware, it makes the program launch more scalable. 

Cons of AR Object Recognition

Although there are benefits to using AR Object Recognition, it does come with its drawbacks.

  • AR object recognition may need occasional updates in both software and hardware. This can cause disruptions in the learning process while the organization or their vendor makes necessary updates.
  • AR object recognition isn’t the best soft-skills teacher. Soft-skills are personal attributes, like the way learners adapt, collaborate, and make decisions. AR object recognition is more beneficial for learning technical skills and processes. 

Read More: Augmented Reality Training: Pros and Cons

Do You Recognize All That AR Object Recognition Has To Offer?

We’ve covered the basics of AR object recognition, including its distinct features and pros and cons.

Now it’s time to ask yourself, “Is AR object recognition technology something that could be incorporated into our organization’s learning program?”

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