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Augmented Reality refers to any system that overlays virtual objects or information on top or beside images from the real world.

Distinguished from a Heads-Up Display in that the information in a HUD is presented as being on the surface it's projected on, whereas Augmented Reality is usually presented as "actually" being part of the world behind it. It's pretty much the epitome Real Life example of Goggles Do Something Unusual.

Examples of Augmented Reality include:

Anime & Manga

  • Dennou Coil revolves around a town set up for an Augmented Reality system which children have access to.
  • Fractale - Fractale system
  • Appears in Ghost in the Shell where cyberbrains allow people to add aditional information into their normal perception of reality.
  • In Iris Zero most people have a power called an Iris that basically allows them to view an Augmented Reality. Most younger people, anyway.
  • In Battle Angel Alita, when Alita is surrounded by enemy covered by smoke bombs, Lou sends the location of her assailants and booby traps which superimpose on her vision.
  • The eponymous Eden of the East has a phone app which uses augmented reality. Point the camera at anything, and it will give you any information Eden has on the subject.
    • In fact, this particular app is what ends up helping Akira intercept the missiles threatening Japan.
  • Rather than the holographic images seen in other series, Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal portrays the monster duels through augmented-reality eyepieces. Besides just the graphics handwave, an early episode had a hacker's supposed "evil scheme" turn out to be making a giant QR code.

Fan Fiction

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero it's shown Mikuru was given an Augmented Reality system as a part of her conditioning (probably to help her with the culture shock). It doesn't seem to interact well with some movies.
    • It's the way the SOS brigade can interact with Achakura.


  • California Voodoo Game uses this trope because they're outside of the Dream Park environment.
  • The gargoyles in Snow Crash. They wear bulky outfits that allow them to carry a full suite of high-end surveillance equipment wherever they go. This allows them to look up information on the Internet with ease, as well as record and scan anything they see. They have a reputation for being freaks and loners.
  • Members of the Daemon are given spectacles that project data from the Daemon onto the lenses. It's keyed to their retina, and allows them to identify other Daemon operatives, important locations, among other functions.
  • Anyone with eyescreens in the Ugly-verse
  • Halting State by Charles Stross is set just after now and features glasses that give directions and handy pointers as standard for some of the characters.

Live Action TV

  • Geordi's visor on Star Trek the Next Generation qualifies. As seen in the episode "The Heart of Glory", it sees visually but also overlays data about electromagnetic fields (such as the "aura" around Lt. Data, which he assumed everyone could see) and metal fatigue, which are not fundamentally visual data.
  • Some helicopters in Fringe's alternate universe have an information service that works in this manner.
    • Presumably it includes an overlay of massive three-dimensional block letters identifying your current location.
  • The line-of-scrimmage and line-to-gain lines on football broadcasts. Also, some ads on sports arenas work this way.

Real Life

  • This TEDTalk shows one such system developed by MIT. This one shows a good example of Augmented Reality maps as seen through phones.
    • Several mapping applications on the iPhone have similar Augmented Reality functions, such as the Yelp! app.
    • The latest version of StarWalk uses the iOS Device's camera to determine the location of stars, satellites and other astronomical features in real time.
  • LEGO Stores have cameras set up where if you held certain sets up to the camera, an animation of the completed set played sitting on the box itself.

Tabletop Games

  • Eclipse Phase has this as part of a post-singularity future.
  • The Fourth Edition of Shadowrun features a widespread acceptance of Augmented Reality. This was mostly an effort to get Hacker Characters out into the field.
  • Advanced goggles and glasses in GURPS: Ultratech give lots amounts of information about everything around them including hyperspectral imaging of the environment.

Video Games

  • The PlayStation 3 has virtual pet game Eye Pet and the card game Eye Of Judgment that both use the Play Station Eye camera and overlay the games visuals on the video feed from the camera.
  • The PSP would become the first handheld system to feature Augmented Reality with the aid of an add-on camera. Invizimals made a prime example of this feature.
    • Its successor, the PS Vita, made the built in camera being used for AR games a major selling point.
  • In addition to having a 3D display screen and a 3D camera, the Nintendo 3DS will also be the first Nintendo handheld video game console to incorporate Augmented Reality gameplay (via "cards").
    • The pack-in titles, AR Games and Face Raiders, take advantage of the feature, with both having added use of the built-in gyroscope.
    • Nintendogs + Cats also takes advantage of the feature to let you play with your pets in the "real world", as does Pokédex 3D. An AR mode has also been announced for Kid Icarus: Uprising.
    • Spirit Camera the Cursed Memoir ships with a notebook filled with deranged imagery which the games uses and enhances through its story mode.
    • Kid Icarus Uprising uses collectible AR cards, or "idols", that can battle each other.
  • Geomon runs off this trope using your real geography, weather, season, and time of day to find and fight monsters.
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