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In Cloud Computing Last updated: July 14, 2023
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AR cloud creates a digital twin of the real things around the users so that the consumers can share their AR experiences with others.

Cloud computing made digital technologies affordable. Today, more software development companies are springing up easily because they can create cloud instances online to code, test, deploy, and repeat software development projects.

The extensive development and propagation of cloud technology have opened new doors for other technologies to flourish and mature. One such next-gen technology is augmented reality cloud or AR cloud for shared experiences of real-world things and places on demand.

Read on to learn AR cloud basics, its working, architecture, and more. Also, explore learning resources to master the AR cloud.       

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the next-gen version of the real-time world around you achieved through many allied IT technologies. For example, a standard AR experience will include the following advanced technologies:

  • 3D augmented images, texts, or animation in the real world are delivered and viewed on head-mounted devices (HMDs), smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, car windshields, and so on.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices collect data from the real world and feed the AR content processors.
  • Holistic web search results included in AR experiences.
  • Edge analytics to offer quick data insights to business users of AR. 

AR is a matured technology used by many industries like the followings:

  • eCommerce and business retail
  • Customer service
  • Automobile and other manufacturing businesses
  • Business operations and management in remote places
  • Online and mobile gaming
  • Online and offline entertainment 

AR technology is about how end users consume content, shop online, and experience lifestyles using digital technologies. When the next iteration of AR is done, the AR cloud will become readily accessible. Users can share experiences using a persistent copy of real-world experiences available on the cloud. 

What Is AR Cloud?

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The augmented reality (AR) cloud is the online space where AR developers can store AR experiences of any place, product, moment, and more. The idea is to create a non-diminishing copy of the present supplemented with extensive information from the web about the present.

For example, you are walking down the street in a new city. You are exploring the best place to eat local cuisine.

In today’s digital world, you would open Google Maps or Apple Maps. Then, search for a keyword like a restaurant, bakery, diner, etc. Then, the map will fetch many locations around you. 

You must select each place and review information like star ratings, customer review texts, menu, and so on. 

AR cloud will replace this location-finding experience using AR and cloud processing infrastructure. A central or edge analytics app will automatically analyze the restaurants near you and suggest the few best ones by analyzing review data via artificial intelligence (AI). 

When you go near one of such restaurants, you will see more detailed information like the menu, look of the preparations, name of the service persons, cost of items, etc., all on your smartphone screen or head-mounted display.

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Online sourced data will be projected on the real-time camera view of the product, location, place, etc. Developers can save this information on the cloud. Other customers can also access the AR experiences on demand.

AR cloud can also become a framework for AR content development. The cloud service providers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon can develop easy-to-use AR development SDKs and host the tools on the cloud.

Developers worldwide can access these AR development platforms, code their own content and publish online for target consumers.

When the AR cloud is in full swing, the online search will change from top to bottom. Users will not have to surf hundreds of pages to find the content, document, image, or experience they are looking for. Users’ intended search will take place visually, and the answers will be present where their questions are. 

How Does AR Cloud Work?

Conventional AR content places an abstraction layer on real-world dynamic visuals using connected IoT devices, smartphone screens, mobile cameras, etc. For example, Snapchat lenses, the Pokemon Go game app, the hair coloring app, the beautification app, etc.

With AR cloud, content creators and AR solutions developers can create such content for mass consumption using cloud resources like cloud instances for graphic designing, animation, IoT emulation, edge analytics on the cloud, etc.

In the AR cloud environment, AR apps will be hosted on the cloud instead of smartphones, head-mounted displays, visors, VR gadgets, etc. Hence, GPU and processing power will also be provided by the cloud instance. There is no need to source high-performance devices for end-user consumption. 

Users only need a computing device with a camera, GPS, internet, and web browser capabilities. Everything else will be provided by the AR cloud solution hosted on a virtualized cloud computing instance.     

Components of AR Cloud

According to Ori Inbar, a functional AR cloud will contain the following components: 

  • A shareable and scalable machine-readable persistent image of the world with real-world location coordinates
  • Localization program codes that can locate local places of interest instantly
  • Media delivery system to place virtual content on AR devices while supporting many users

However, from the technology and software perspective, the followings should be the minimal requirement to set up a functional AR cloud: 

  • An AR browser for visual search, user authentication, AR rendering, content syndicating, hand tracking, gesture tracking, object tracking, etc.
  • Edge computing for real-time analytics on the spot without waiting for a central server
  • AR virtual assets like holograms, social graphs, contextual data, 3D maps, etc.
  • AR data storage like metadata repository, content, point cloud, etc.
  • Core technologies like 3D Geometry Detection, Track Dynamic Objects, 3D Emantics Understanding, Vision Intelligence, etc.

Next, we will explore business opportunities in the AR cloud ecosystem.

Business Opportunities in the AR Cloud Ecosystem

The most promising and profitable business use for AR cloud could be a functional AR cloud browser. Instead of typing things on a browser search field, consumers can look for content, products, suggestions, etc., using visual search.

Depending on the context of the search or keyword, the AR search browser will show users information on items, goods, places, etc., to which they look with an HMD gadget or smartphone camera. 

The search results will float like 3D images, animations, texts, content blocks, etc., near the search query, which could be a physical or digital thing in the real world.

Other business-centric use cases that could bring in millions of dollars in revenue are as follows:

#1. Small AR CLouds

Several startups in the AR cloud spectrum are developing small AR clouds. These are persistent and updateable 3D and real-world experiences of a city, town, country, or region in digital maps delivered via AR devices.

#2. AR Cloud Games


Online and multimedia developers can use the AR cloud to develop games that portray the real world instead of the animated world. For instance, the Pokemon Go game app for mobile phones and tablets.

#3. Real Estate

Real estate registration services or authorities can use the AR cloud to map the real world. Then, they can use multimedia-based land records for convenient registration, ownership transfers, issuing building development permits, etc.

#4. AR Cloud Development Infrastructure and Tools

Technology startups can also develop AR Cloud API/SDK for 3D mapping, real-world spatial mapping, etc., and sell access to AR developers, content creators, and more.

#5. AR Cloud Content

Cloud repository providers can use their infrastructure and investment to scan cities of business, travel, tourist, shopping, etc., interests. These cloud AR repositories can sell access to mapped content to AR software developers.

AR content creators can use 3D scanning, spatial imaging, localization, visual positioning, etc., data on-demand from AR cloud providers to create engaging AR content or experiences for consumers.

#6. AR Cloud-Based Advertising

The advertising industry can change drastically with the introduction of the AR cloud. Businesses can show personalized products and content recommendations to their target audience when they visit any place of importance.

For example, a restaurant brand can show deals and promotions proactively on HMDs or mobile phone screens of users who arrive in the vicinity of the restaurant’s outlet.    

Benefits of AR Cloud

The primary benefit of AR cloud will be saving time and effort to look for high-quality content on the web. When the augmented reality cloud becomes accessible and mature, businesses and end users can find the content they are looking for right in front of their eyes via HMDs, tablet screens, smartphone screens, helmet visors, etc. 

Other notable benefits of AR cloud are: 

  • Cybersecurity developers can leverage the cloud infrastructure of AR cloud to develop more secure content delivery solutions than today’s internet system.
  • Customer service businesses can serve customers more efficiently from remote locations.
  • Locating places, stores, shopping points, restaurants, camping grounds, hunting points, fishing areas, etc., will be easier with AR navigation on mobile screens, HMDs, or visors that overlay real-world views with information and guidance. 
  • IT and digital technology will become easier and more accessible since the uninitiated users can use AR cloud solutions visually without knowing how to code or operate complex apps.  

Next, we will discuss the future scope of the AR cloud.

Future of AR Cloud

The AR cloud will lead futuristic product development in the augmented reality spectrum. Businesses are already seeing the value and return on investment (ROI) by using AR technology. Commercial entities use AR cloud technology for Do It Yourself (DIY) remote collaborations with third-party partners.

Companies are already training their user via remote, immersive, and realistic experiences combining 3D and real-world content.

AR cloud-based real-world mapping will empower companies to expand their use cases. Businesses can also offer multi-user AR experiences for entertainment, education, sports, and more. 

With more developments in real-world mapping, the existing AR development framework, which uses marker-based AR, or detects objects, will transform to enjoy the benefits of real-world mapping data. This will produce many more novel use cases in the business world, driving more demand for AR cloud in the future. 

Learning Resources

#1. What Is Augmented Reality?

What is Augmented Reality? is a comprehensive book to learn the current status of AR developments and business benefits. The author discusses many interviews with the leaders of AR development in plain English so that anyone can understand what is happening in the AR world. 

Besides real interviews with designers, CEOs, developers, and AR engineers, the book also covers the evolution of AR development tools, software, and devices.   

#2. Augmented Reality, 1st Edition

Augmented Reality, 1st Edition covers AR theories, AR program designing, and code development topics that an AR engineer or developer must learn in college or professional life.

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Some of the AR topics covered in this book are: 

  • Computer coordinate system
  • Camera calibration
  • Homogeneous matrix representation
  • Hardware requirements in an AR Lab 
  • Computer Vision

It also introduces the reader to the mathematics behind AR development and some real-world project examples.

#3. Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture

Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture is the must-have book for professionals learning cloud computing, new college graduates hoping to enter the IT ecosystem as cloud computing experts, or business stakeholders who need to move their business to the cloud.

The book describes the current trends in cloud solution development, cloud framework technologies, and the best practices a business must follow to move operations to the cloud.

The book also explains cloud technology mechanisms, models, concepts, and cloud architectures from a vendor-neutral standpoint. Not to mention, all the discussions are business and industry-centric so that CTOs, CEOs, and startup openers can benefit from cloud adoption.

Wrapping Up

Augmented reality (AR) is already a maturing technology. It is no longer on the list of emerging technologies published on Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Hence, businesses, technology enthusiasts, developers, and researchers consider AR no longer a nascent technology. 

The next iteration of AR is the AR cloud, made possible by secure, accessible, and affordable cloud infrastructures. AR cloud shall soon become the most used world wide web search standard, just like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Hence, as new use cases will come, novel business opportunities will be there. 

Next, you can check out detailed information on augmented analytics.

  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
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