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The Unseen Dangers of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality or AR can significantly impact our perception and cause quite a few distractions that can easily result in accidents. While we already know how distracting our cell phones can be, and we know what can happen when we text and drive, it is also important to understand the unseen dangers that augmented reality poses.

Vision and Mobility

When you use augmented reality in the real world, you can find that the way you perceive the world and your surroundings is quite different. You may also find that you interact with your environment much differently than if you weren't using augmented reality at all.

For example, AR can cause you to seriously misjudge the speed of an oncoming car, your reaction time will suffer, and you may also begin ignoring other road hazards or navigation hazards in the real world.

What is AR Exactly?

Augmented reality overlays real-time, computer-generated visuals and combines it with audio and haptic signals that enter a person's field of vision. It can affect a person's hearing, vision, and even sense of touch.

One of the most obvious dangers of this kind of technology is user distraction. However, there are other consequences to be aware of as well.


Cyber risks and cyber security are huge these days and a hacker can easily compromise the AR system and can go as far as effectively tricking users into thinking that certain objects are actually real. They can also find a user's field of view or location which can also be dangerous.

Pedestrian Mobile Use

When pedestrians use their mobile phones to engage in AR programs, the rate of pedestrian injury and accidents increases. It affects a person's situational awareness and causes a temporary distraction for the user.

In addition to these dangers, the AR blurs the reality of the user's situation with that of the AR world which can make it harder for them to distinguish between the two. They can also get so immersed in this AR world that they don't see a car coming their way when they failed to stop at the crosswalk and wait for the signal to walk.

The use of any kind of mobile device for any reason as a pedestrian or driver can seriously impact your situational awareness as well as your coordination. The best thing to do to avoid accidents from happening is to put the phone down and pay attention to your real surroundings.

The use of AR by drivers and pedestrians is fast becoming a public safety concern and for this reason, increased awareness, education, and training are needed to help avoid accidents from happening due to distraction.

Some locations have implemented safety measures including signage, separate walkways for device users, more education, and even fines for those who don't comply.

Benefits of Augmented Reality for Workplace Training

In addition to entertainment, AR can also benefit businesses because when introduced to the workplace, it allows a greater level of training so that employees can safely practice certain tasks before performing the job in real time.

For example, it can help teach a pilot how to land a plane safely or can help someone in manufacturing learn how to operate a dangerous machine safely and properly. As long as it is being used in a controlled environment with the distractions and dangers eliminated, it can be quite beneficial.