Virtual and Augmented Reality are two of the hot topics in tech at the moment. Whilst VR allows you to have amazing experiences immersed in a virtual worlds, AR blends the virtual and physical worlds together to allow for interesting new creative possibilities!
So what’s new? Augmented Reality has been around for while. You probably remember playing Pokemon Go or perhaps you use Snapchat Lenses to turn your face into a bunny? Both use AR. But till now, AR has been limited because computers aren’t as good as humans at understanding what they are looking at. So AR has required special designed markers or easily recognizable images like faces to work.
Luckily Apple and Google have both been working on this and the latest versions of their mobile operating systems have advanced AR capabilities built in. Apple calls their technology ARKit and Google calls theirs ARCore.
Developers such as ourselves have had an early preview of this technology and been getting creative with the new possibilities it opens.
This technology will soon be available to everyone when iOS11 is released and to celebrate we’ve hand picked some of the best demos to get your creative juices flowing!
One of the coolest uses in AR at the moment is definitely the “portal to another world” and developer 8ninths shows us one of favourite portals yet, turning a boring old garage door into an entrance to a tropical rainforest. This transposing of realities is a lot of fun and we love the idea of moving from the real world to the virtual world.
Augmented Reality opens the door to lots of new possibilities for artists. In this great demo, artist Zach Lieberman first generates a visualisation of each sounds recorded by his phone. Then he moves through the visualisation, recreating the sounds recorded. We’re not sure what it’s useful for but it’s very cool.
Volumetric Capturing has improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and it’s been used in 3d printing, VR and now even AR. This short demo shows how effective mixing these two components can be, we can imagine attending meetings this way in the future.
For anyone trying to decorate their flat Ikea is the obvious choice, it’s affordable, compact and has lots of choice. The only issue is that most of the time you need to travel quite far to go to ikea, this ARKit app solves this issue by bringing Ikea to you! You can make sure everything you buy fits and looks just right in your place before ordering.
Everybody wants a pet, but not everyone can afford it or has room for one, so we decided to go about creating a virtual one. So meet Wrench, he’s our a barking, ball fetching, flame-throwing robot dog! He may burn your home down, but he doesn’t need feeding or taking for walks.
Finding your friends
There is always a moment when you’re at a festival where you lose your friends and wander aimlessly for hours trying to find them again. Well no more, with this small but effective idea you could find any of your friends, even when you are drowning in a sea of people !
AHA Take me on
This demo shows another sweet use of a seamless portal in augmented reality. Take a classic 80’s music video and recreate it in AR. The big difference with this portal compared to other demos is what happens when you go through the portal, the real environment now looks just like the virtual one, creating a really cool effect.
Remember the hungry caterpillar children’s book (or should we say everyone’s favorite children’s book) ? This app brings an already great children’s book to life, making it even more interactive and accessible. The use of augmented reality looks really nice and blends well with real world surroundings. They also kept the actual unique artstyle which made the original book so cool.
Ever since watching the holographic chess game in film Star Wars people have been dreaming of using AR to create games that enter your living room. Table top augmented reality games are definitely going to be a ‘thing’. This is a great example of how a simple table can be transformed into a futuristic battlefield.
This last demo is a really cool blend between augmented reality and japanese style RPGs. The player goes around a city accomplishing quests and talking to NPCs in a sweet retro style world. The demo has a really good balance between virtual and real world elements, which creates a nice illusion of making our everyday surroundings more fantastical. Additionally the game looks fun and immersive, and has lot of potential.
That’s it for this time. If you’d like to find out how AR can help your business then please get in touch.