Online - Augmented Reality
Written by Gregg Henglein
The tech world is forever keen on buzz words and trends, the latest being ‘augmented reality’. AR is not so much about adding visuals to reality, but rather about enabling users to better see reality. Technology at its heart is about forging a seamless interaction between user and information, creating tools that not only augment the human perception, but help to get the right information to the right person at the right time. This is the essence of AR, be it information about the stars, your car, your unfamiliar surroundings, or where that alien vessel is lurking, ready to blast you. So you had best be prepared…here are a few AR-embedded apps that you can place right at your fingertips!
The former TourWrist, Sphere is a panoramic photo app that allows you to navigate the panorama not only with the standard finger swipe, but also by moving your device. This incorporates an unprecedented level of augmented reality – and makes for some really cool images! It looks even better on the iPad, but the camera upload feature is only available on the iPhone.
The “indispensable guide to eating and drinking”, buUuk offers restaurant reviews, exclusive deals/discounts, and Facebook integration in 13 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and India. Best of all, its augmented reality function uses GPS as well as the compass on the iPhone to provide you with an extra layer of information on the different restaurants near you.
IKEA’s 2014 Catalogue (Free)
What looks good in the store doesn’t always work at home. That’s why IKEA has introduced AR into its 2014 Catalogue app, allowing users to see how a sofa or other items will look in the room before making their purchase. Available for iOS or Android, the app works with the standard paper catalogue. The app zones in on an orange cross at the bottom right of selected product pages, triggering its AR mode. The printed version of the catalogue is then placed where the furniture is intended to go. “Offering a way of using mobile technology to enable to test products means the technology has a practical purpose and really helps customers visualise the way their homes could look,” says Peter Wright, Marketing Manager for IKEA UK and Ireland.
LEGO® Connect (Free)
Want to check out a LEGO set in more detail before buying? Use Connect to learn more about LEGO sets, view product designer videos, and instantly view 3D models. To access additional content in LEGO catalogues, look for pages and pictures with the LEGO Connect icon. You can even purchase sets right from the app.