Mobile computing and smart phones have seen some of the largest innovations in the last few years in the different ways they’re utilizing augmented reality technology. There are so many interactive ways a smart phone or tablet can be used and the app market expands into different areas on almost a daily basis. We’re going to list a few of the most innovative augmented reality apps on the market and how they’re changing the world of interactive mobile technology.
Blippar is a mobile augmented reality app that really takes the idea of QR codes to another level. Whenever you see a Blippar logo, whether it’s on a TV ad, product, magazine, or billboard, you just simply open the app up and the augmented reality interaction seamlessly emerges. Depending on the product, there are tons of different varieties and ways for a company to utilize the app, from 3D interactive advertisements, to games, movie trailers, and contests; almost anything you could imagine. One of the most interesting uses was for a Heinz ketchup bottle that unfurls a 3D recipe book when the Blippar app is initiated. A lot of the uses for Blippar are similar to the QR codes that have become commonplace, but there’s a new level of interaction available that really sets it apart, and in the future there will be even a wider range of scenarios where Blippar will convert any stale 2D advertisement into a fully interactive experience. Another use for it could even be demographic specific ads that differ based on who’s using the application, which could create an entirely new range of micro-focused ads. Blippar is available for both the iOS and Android platforms.
Word Lens is an augmented reality app that translates any printed text from French or Spanish to English and vice versa. In real time you can point your camera at any text and it’ll give you the translation, while also matching the font, color, and perspective of the text, and then remapping it onto the image. For anyone traveling or doing business in foreign countries. Word Lens is a must-have app that would bring an ease of use to even the most difficult tasks, and it even works without being connected to the Internet, which really increases the variety of locations you can use it in. Imagine going to Spain or France and every street sign or map you encounter is instantly translated into English; it would almost make a tour guide and or even a translator obsolete. Asking for directions or trying to understand a menu would be a thing of the past. Right now there are only dictionaries for French and Spanish to English (and vice versa), but in the future as the company expands their translation and dictionaries into other countries you could literally travel the world or do business anywhere and still feel right at home. Word Lens is available for the iOS platform.
Google Goggles is an image recognition app that allows you to do searches based on real world photographs you take with your handheld device. By taking pictures of objects, places, product barcodes, or almost anything you can take a picture of, Google Goggles takes this info and gives you a detailed search about the item. It takes the best aspects of the Google search engine and translates it into a real world object based experience; it’s basically an entirely way different way of searching without using text or speech recognition. Google has even collaborated with The Metropolitan Museum of Art so you can use the app on anything in the museum to immediately learn more about it. Google Goggles is available for both the iOS and Android platforms.
Google eventually wants to turn Google Goggles into its own platform, similar to Google Maps, with an API in the works to allow outside developers to create their own apps based on it. Amazon has a similar app called Amazon Flow that allows you to take a picture of any item that can be found on Amazon to immediately check its availability or to order it. Google Goggles definitely has a much wider range of uses then Amazon Flow, but they’re both great examples of the future of real world image recognition apps. Amazon Flow is available on the iOS platform.
Google Goggles will eventually become another layer to the Google Glasses that are currently in development, which is an augmented reality headset that projects information about people, objects, and locations on a 3D plane as you interact with them in real time. Google Goggles and Google Glasses, along with Find My Face (which is facial recognition software that you can use in Google + to scan photos, find friends and suggest tags based on their faces), will eventually all be working in tandem to create a seamless fully immersive experience; it’ll be like a 3D Social Network within reality as you actually network. They’ll completely redefine how we interact with technology as they transform our real world.
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