Augmented reality has been put to use in a number of fields, including real estate, tourism, medical imaging; where doctors can access data about patients; aviation, where tools show pilots important data about the landscape they are viewing; training, in which technology provides students or technicians with necessary data about specific objects they are working with; and in museums, where artifacts can be tagged with information such as the artifact's historical context or where it was discovered.
In addition to these, educause has outlined the significance and benefits of augmented reality in the education industry. Augmented reality allows educators to provide learning opportunities out of the classroom too. For example, in many cases field trips are included as part of a course. The use of augmented reality in these situations allows educators to leverage the now ubiquitous hardware platform that is the smartphone explosion to add another dimension to outdoor learning experiences.
MIT for example made great use of an augmented reality platform named 'Environmental Detectives', that allowed students to interactively participate in an exercise aimed at investigating the environmental impact of a local pollution concern.
The application of the technology is certainly not restricted to higher education. Augmented reality is a smash hit with younger audiences too. The innovative app AR Flashcards has proven that AR can be a great motivational driver for the early stages in learning - such as learning the alphabet.
Since this early endeavour into mobile augmented reality based learning, the cost and availability of the required technology has improved drastically. Things don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon either, especially with companies like Apple shipping in excess of 30 million mobile devices per quarter, and Android celebrating it's 10 billionth app store download.