Augmented Reality (AR) is not-so-new technology but it hasn’t yet reached its prime, although it is slowly getting there. It first became well-known when Pokemon Go was released last year, an app for iOS and Android users. Opening your camera showed the real world in front of you as well a Pokemon character superimposed onto your screen; making it feel like it’s actually there.
Now, this may seem like something you don’t need but it can make life easier when making decisions. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool to see what that tattoo you want to get looks like on your body before you go under the machine? What about that nice, new couch that may just go with your freshly decorated lounge? #DigitalDecorating. Cool huh? But I wanted to test out AR first-hand, so I downloaded some free AR apps and here’s what I think.
A photo (rightfully owned by Apple), demonstrating Augmented Reality (AR).AR Sports Basketball
This is a very fun and rather addictive game that lets you shoot hoops from literally anywhere. Just choose your mode (desk or normal) and use the slider on the bottom right-hand corner to aim. You can adjust your phone’s angle too so you have a better aim, just like you would angle your body when you’re about to shoot in a real game. It’s not incredibly difficult but it’s not easy either. Once you get the ball in, you’ll want to get it in again and again; that’s where the addiction starts, especially when you see your high score increasing. More so, when you shoot in combos you get extra points. Nice.
I love that it has a desk mode too because it’s scaled smaller so you don’t have to worry about being too close to it. In normal mode, if you’re too close you’ll have to physically move back because it is automatically scaled to a realistic size. It’s quite cool how real it feels.
So, I mentioned #DigitalDecorating before and Ikea have totally nailed that. Until now, we’d make a trip to Ikea or browse their online store and vision what certain furniture will look like and that vision would help with the decision to buy the product/s or not. Well, things have changed. A lot.
You don’t have to imagine what something will look like anymore, thanks to AR technology. The Ikea Catalogue app lets you digitally place products in your lounge or kitchen, or whatever room you want, rotate them for perfect placement and scales them based on their position. All it requires is your smartphone’s camera. Oh yeah, redecorating just got a whole lot cooler.
Digitally decorate your home with the Ikea Catalogue app.
This one definitely gets you up on your feet. You’ve got to run through checkpoints and really just beat your own record and maybe your friends too. It lets you play in multiplayer mode (up to 4 players) or you can play on your own, be it inside or outside.
To start the game, you choose your field size (2 x 2 meters, 4 x 4 meters or 8 x 8 meters. You can choose to have a 16 x 16 meters’ field size but that will cost you £1.99). You then pick your mode; it has 4 modes to choose from:
Normal – Activate the spots in a certain order
Wall Punch – Activate the most number of circles by moving your device through them
30 sec rush – Activate the most number of spots in 30 seconds
Enemies – Activate the most number of spots while avoiding the blocks
The latter two are not free and can be purchased for £1.99 each but the first two are adequate to help you stay fit and have fun at the same time. This in-app purchase applies for selecting two of the six field shapes too but honestly the free ones are good enough.
It’s a great game that can be played, both, indoors and outdoors, which is a major benefit and it gets you up on your feet so who’s to complain?
I’ve given an overview of just some of the coolest AR apps available and I think they’re really awesome. But is that enough to make Augmented Reality something we should appreciate? I’d say so. Its potential is quite incredible; the Ikea catalogue app is a brilliant example. Sure, you can vision what something would look like but how can you top seeing what it would actually look like, digitally? That is just pure amazing.
It doesn’t stop there though. The possibilities with AR are endless (ask Apple) and with what we’ve seen already, you can only imagine what the future of AR will entail. Hence, I would totally call AR revolutionary as it really has opened up a whole new world for us. I think some of the games can come across as gimmicky but games are only meant to be fun. It’s the apps that actually allow us to do useful things that make it so ground-breaking.
But that’s just what I think. What are your thoughts on AR games and apps? Would you call it a gimmick or revolutionary? Also, if you have used any AR apps that you would recommend, drop a comment below.
I hope you found this blog interesting and thanks for reading
Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorials at XALIRATE and posts here on Wednesdays and Saturdays.