This paper surveys the field of augmented reality (AR), in which 3D virtual objects are integrated into a 3D real environment in real time. It describes the medical, manufacturing, visualization, path planning, entertainment, and military applications that have been explored. This paper describes the characteristics of augmented reality systems, including a detailed discussion of the tradeoffs between optical and video blending approaches. Registration and sensing errors are two of the biggest problems in building effective augmented reality systems, so this paper summarizes current efforts to overcome these problems. Future directions and areas requiring further research are discussed. This survey provides a starting point for anyone interested in researching or using augmented reality.