While the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) concepts overlap, their definitions often get muddled. In short, augmented reality is where something virtual is projected into your real world surroundings (think Pokémon Go!). VR on the other hand casts you into a virtual world outside of your environment, experienced via a headset allowing the user complete immersion. AR is often viewed through a screen- via mobile devices, but headsets and VR-style goggles are an increasingly common mediums on which AR apps operate.

AR isn’t a new concept however, and has been used in such fields as medicine, military, engineering, and robotics for a long time. In professional circles, the world of architecture and interior design has readily embraced new developments in the field. There’s a range of AR apps that can be used by architects and interior designers, to visualise their designs in the real world- ARki and SmartReality for 3D modelling, and Pair, Decorilla, and Augment for interior design are notable examples.

AR design has a consumer appeal as well as a professional one, as IKEA recently proved. They created an app which allows you to visualise furniture from their catalogue in your homes.

The fashion world has also begun to explore the possibilities that AR offers in transforming the way people interact with their industry. Last year, Superdry introduced their new augmented reality mirror in their Berlin flagship store, where customers can see themselves in the clothes they wish to try. Uniqlo and Topshop have also experimented with these ideas.

These developments in the professional sphere promise exciting prospects for students in the fashion and design industries. As the technology becomes even easier for app designers to work with, students will be presented with new tools to visualise their ideas in real world contexts with ease.  

Ink Hunter (allows you to visualise your tattoo designs on your body), Sun Seek (telling you where the sun is and will be at any point in the day, perfect for photographers!), and SketchAR (allowing you to see virtual images on paper or canvas to trace around) are just a few of the already exciting apps available that can aid students in the design disciplines.

Developments in AR technology promises to give many students the freedom, flexibility, and tools to make the world around them their studio, rather than being confined to fixed locations to experiment with their ideas. Online learning platforms, also strong advocators of flexible learning through innovation, will no doubt be next to incorporate these advancements in AR to help give students an even more engaging study experience.


Find out more about LCCA’s online learning programmes here.