10 Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

10 Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

One of the biggest challenges for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) today is the lack of consumer devices. This is especially true of augmented reality, where the best form factor experiences (glasses or headphones) are out of reach for all but the early tech enthusiasts to embrace these technologies. Fortunately, the advent of augmented reality on mobile devices has given rise to a number of augmented reality applications for mobile devices. These apps may not provide the optimal form factor for the hardware, but they can start to paint users a picture of the kinds of problems augmented reality can solve.
Here, you can take a look at ten (or so) AR apps you can try out today with just over your iOS or Android device. Due to the mobile form factor, some of these apps may not be the ideal form factor for augmented reality. However, engineers at Apple and Google have done an amazing job turning AR into devices that weren’t originally built for augmented reality experiences.
As you review these apps, imagine how these experiences could be presented to you in the future: in high definition via a pair of unobtrusive augmented reality glasses. Think about the benefits this change in form factor can offer, and how it can improve already exciting executions. This is a promise of augmented reality in the near future.
AR Mobile is an amazing engineering feat, and it has many interesting use cases. However, the final form factor of AR is probably an implementation that feels less intrusive and can be used hands-free. Keep this in mind when reviewing any mobile AR experiences. What may seem a bit awkward or weird to use today may only be an upgraded version of the form factor or two that are far from amazing.

1. Google Translate
Google Translate is a great example of the power of augmented reality. And not because it extends augmented reality to its visual technical limits – it doesn’t. Her images are simple, but her inner workings are technically complex.
Google Translate can translate signs, menus, and other text items in more than 30 different languages. Simply open the app and point your device’s camera at the text you want to translate and – voila! – You get an instant translation that is digitally placed on top of the original text block.
This image shows a screenshot of the Google Translate app in use. A sign written in Spanish is seamlessly translated into English on the fly via the Google Translate app, which replaces the Spanish letters on the sign with an identical English font.
Imagine that you are traveling in a foreign country equipped with a pair of augmented reality glasses powered by Google Translate. Bookmarks and menus that were previously nothing but unrecognizable strings of characters are instantly readable in the language of your choice. Google Translate itself also includes automatic voice translation. Imagine the same augmented reality glasses paired with unobtrusive headphones (which, unsurprisingly, also made by Google) quickly translate foreign language audio. Audio and visuals “augment” your current reality and make language barriers a thing of the past.
Google Translate is available for both iOS and Android devices.

2. Amazon AR View
One obvious question that augmented reality can help answer is: “What does this item look like in real life?” A number of companies have attempted to implement augmented reality for their physical catalogs, but it has generally been limited to larger items such as furniture. It can be difficult to buy furniture and other large items online – it can be difficult to visualize what these large items would look like in your home.
Retail giant Amazon recently added an AR feature to its standard Amazon shopping app called AR View. AR View from Amazon enables you to preview thousands of products in augmented reality – not just larger pieces of furniture, but toys, electronics, toasters, coffee makers and more. Open the Amazon app, select AR View, navigate to the product you want to view, and place it in your space via AR. You can then walk around it in three dimensions, check the size, and get an idea of ​​what an object looks and feels like within your living space.
Only a small subset of Amazon’s offerings are currently available in AR View, but that will likely change soon. The main drawback of Amazon being an online store only means that customers cannot experience physical products as they do in physical locations. Augmented reality may allow Amazon to help alleviate this problem. You can imagine that Amazon is asking to digitize the majority of its seller catalogs so that users can digitally experience their product listings via augmented reality.
Amazon AR View is available for iOS devices and soon on Android.

3. Blipbar
Blippar is a company with a noble goal: to be the company that bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world through augmented reality. Blippar envisions a world where blipp becomes part of our daily dictionary in the same way you use Google as a verb of the day: “Just Google it!”
For Blippar, blipp (noun) is digital content added to an object in the real world. blipp (verb) means to open Blippar digital content via a Blippar app in order to recognize an object and display the content on your mobile phone, tablet or wearable augmented reality device.
Blippar isn’t just an implementation of augmented reality – it’s a clever combination of many technologies. By blending several technologies such as AR, artificial intelligence and computer vision, Blippar can recognize and provide information on millions of real-world objects and even people.
After you download the Blippar app and point your mobile phone at an item, such as a laptop, Blippar scans the device, recognizes the item, and provides information about the item. For example, for a laptop, it might show you facts about your laptop via Wikipedia, let you know where to buy laptops online, and point you to YouTube videos of laptop reviews. If you target your Blippar app at a famous person, such as a German chancellor, Blippar tells you her name and provides various pieces of information and news about her.
Blippar also offers branded experiences. Companies that want to provide AR data about their products can work with Blippar to create branded AR implementations. For example, Nestlé may request that Blippar present an augmented reality game to the user whenever the user takes out an image of a candy bar. Universal Pictures may request that when a user takes out any of their Jurassic Park posters, a dinosaur from the poster appears in augmented reality and provides a movie trailer link.
Unlike many augmented reality applications available today on mobile devices for consumer use, Blippar’s use of computer vision provides functionality beyond simply placing a model in a 3D space. Blippar’s ability to recognize objects and use AR alongside those objects may be a sign of where AR will end up next.
It remains to be seen if we will one day tell our co-workers, “Just surprise them,” but Blippar’s future looks bright.
Blippar is available for both iOS and Android devices.

4. AR City
AR Maps is an app that has been around for a long time. The ability to project direction arrows to your destination on your car windshield or on a pair of wearable glasses has long been a goal.
AR City, created by Blippar, enables you to navigate and explore more than 300 cities around the world with AR. As you travel to your destination, AR City visualizes your path in top view of the real world via 3D overlays of your surroundings. In some major cities and urban areas, enhanced map content provides more information about places around you, including street names, building names, and other local points of interest.
In a few select cities, Blippar is also using what it calls its Urban Visual Positioning (UVP) system. Blippar claims that UVP enables the company to get twice the accuracy of GPS, the current technology behind standard mobile mapping apps. With UVP, Blippar claims it can get data so accurate that it can start placing virtual menus on walls in front of restaurants or interactive guides to famous landmarks, with pinpoint accuracy.
As with the other items on this list, the final form factor for AR navigation as seen in AR City will likely not be in-mobile. A similar navigation system built into glasses or projected onto your windshield may seem like something from the distant future, but AR City proves that future is fast approaching.
ARCity is available for iOS devices.

5. Get up
ARise is a departure from many of the AR game apps currently on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Unlike many games that feature augmented reality as an addition to the main gameplay mechanic, ARise is specifically designed to take advantage of AR features.
Your goal in ARise is simple: guide your hero toward his goal. However, you are provided with some controls to do so. You can never touch the screen or swipe to solve puzzles. Line of sight and perspective are your only way to navigate these virtual worlds.
The objective and gameplay are both relatively simple. What makes ARise a good example of augmented reality for beginners is its requirements for users to get up and move around the game board in order to achieve their goals. The levels within ARise are quite large and complex. In order to properly align your perspective to reach your target, you will have to navigate the world of digital holography by navigating the real world.
In no way should every AR game require the same amount of physical interaction as an experience like ARise. There are plenty of cases where players would rather sit on their sofas rather than having to constantly move around a digital hologram in a physical space. However, for novice users who are unfamiliar with what augmented reality can do, a game like ARise strikes the right balance between technology demonstration and a full gaming experience, and is a basic introduction to what AR can do.
ARise is available for iOS devices.

6. Login and Pokémon Go
It would be hard to make a list of augmented reality apps that you should try and leave out a couple of the apps that have sparked interest in augmented reality and location-based games.
The gameplay in Ingress is fairly simple. Users choose a team (“enlightened” or “resistance”) and try to capture portals and sites scattered around the world in places of interest, such as public art, monuments, parks, monuments, etc. The user’s in-game map displays their location in the real world and the portals closest to them. In order to capture a gate, the user must be within a 40-meter radius of the gate, which makes Ingress a great game to get users to roam and explore the real world.

Pokemon Go cut from a similar piece of cloth. The gameplay in Pokémon Go is consistent with its tagline: “Gotta Catch’ Em All.” The user is represented as a Pokémon trainer and shows a digital representation of themselves on the map, as well as the location of the nearby Pokémon. As with Ingress, users who play Pokémon Go have to travel to a real location close enough to the Pokémon in order to capture it. When the user is within range of a Pokémon, the user can attempt to capture it by throwing Pokéballs at it in either a fully digital environment or an AR environment. The coach can use his Pokémon to battle rival teams in virtual gyms all over the world.
Ingress and Pokémon Go were both very early entries into the AR space. Fundamentalists might argue that the lack of visual digital holograms that interact with the real world does not mean that neither is a true augmented reality game. (Pokémon Go allows you to try to catch Pokémon as if it were visible in the “real” world, but without interacting with the real-world environment.) However, AR can be more than just a visual display. Augmented reality can mean any way to digitally enhance the real world. Ingress and Pokémon Go augment the real world with digital data and artifacts.
It may be best to leave the discussion of what is “augmented reality” and what is not to the jargon to decide. In the meantime, both games are worth exploring if for no other reason than to decide for yourself what you think makes your AR experience “Augmented Reality”.
Ingress and Pokémon Go are available on both iOS and Android devices.

7. MeasureKit and Measurement
MeasureKit and Measure are two applications that can familiarize users with the power of augmented reality through simple utilities. MeasureKit is the iOS version, and Measure is a similar Android version. The concept of both apps is simple: by using a live video feed from the camera on your mobile device, you are pointing at a point in the real world. Target the point where you want to start the measurement and click to start the measurement. Then target a second spot and click to stop the measurement. It’s not the most glamorous use of augmented reality, but the apps are a good example of useful AR apps for the real world.
With MeasureKit and Measure, you can measure the length, width, height, and even the size of objects, all while creating a virtual chart of the space your real-world measurements occupy. Additionally, the types of measurements that apps can capture, such as volumetric measurements, are often much easier to capture and visualize within augmented reality.
As with augmented reality in general, both apps need some work to be done before they are ready for prime time. However, you can easily visualize the utility that these types of applications can provide to workers on the factory floor or to contractors on construction sites, especially with the form factor of augmented reality glasses. Virtual measurements can be shared among all workers on the construction site between each pair of augmented reality goggles, with entire lists of virtual measurements displayed superimposed over an unframed room, eliminating the potential for errors or confusion during construction.
MeasureKit is available for iOS devices, and Measure is available for Android devices.

8. InkHunter
InkHunter is an app that lets you try on virtual tattoos via augmented reality before they are inked on your skin forever. Simply download the app, draw a marker indicating where you want the tattoo to appear, and select the tattoo you’d like to see outwardly on your skin. The app will detect the inner workings of the tag and keep tattoos drawn on your body, even as you move through space, allowing you to “experiment” and evaluate any number of tattoos, even tattoos made up of your own photos.
The ultimate goal of most AR applications is to operate without a mark – that is, without a fixed reference point in the real world. However, in the case of InkHunter, even though it can use AR and computer vision to detect surfaces around you, it will have no way of knowing which surface the tattoo will be applied to. The mark acts as a way to allow the InkHunter to determine the surface and direction in which the tattoo should be overlayed.
InkHunter is available for both iOS and Android devices.

9. Sketch AR
Sketch AR enables users to virtually project images onto a surface, then trace the virtual images using real-world graphics. It is similar to painters using light boxes or projectors to transfer artwork onto different surfaces.
Choose a drawing surface, show the different drawings available for tracing, select the image to trace, then hold the camera in front of the drawing surface. The image will now appear on your piece of paper, so you can trace the lines to create your image. While its usefulness for practicing drawing on a piece of paper with your mobile device is limited, the most interesting use case is the use of Sketch AR within Microsoft HoloLens, which enables users to transfer small drawings into much larger murals.
Like many current augmented reality mobile apps, the final form factor of Sketch AR is not your mobile device. When illustrating, you want your hands to move as freely as possible. With one hand busy trying to keep your device steady at all times, the experience isn’t perfect. Seeing that the app has been designed not only for mobile devices but HoloLens as well is heartening. More AR headsets and glasses have been released at the consumer level, and we hope that companies will follow suit in bringing mobile augmented reality experiences to the various wearable augmented reality form factors.
Sketch AR is available for iOS and Android devices, as well as Microsoft HoloLens.
It has been speculated that the reason Apple is releasing ARKit for mobile devices now is to offer a glimpse into the future while allowing developers access to the type of application program interface (API) that would be available to them if the long-rumored AR glasses came out. to bear fruit.

10. Find Your Car and Car Finder AR
AR car finder applications are available today, and they work well, but similar technology has broader implications for future applications. Both Find Your Car (for iOS) and Car Finder AR (for Android) are simple applications that work in similar ways. Park your car (or whatever you want to find a way back to), drop a pin, and then when you’re returning to your car, a compass arrow will guide you back, providing distance and direction to where you left it.
Being able to drop a pin and be guided back to your misplaced vehicle via overlaid directions solves a problem many people struggle with, but apps to locate your car via a dropped pin have existed in some form or another for a while. Certainly AR improves the experience, but what if it went even further?
A proof-of-concept app, Neon, is looking to do just that. Billing itself as the “world’s first social augmented reality platform,” Neon allows users to leave 3D AR holographic messages in the real world for friends to view, which they can find by following Neon’s mapping system. Plus, Neon plans to enable you to locate friends who also have the Neon app in a crowded stadium, festival, or anywhere that might necessitate the usage of the app. (Neon is not yet released to any app stores.)
With a pair of AR glasses, parents could track their children at crowded playgrounds down to the direction and distance they are apart. You could be alerted that a friend or acquaintance in your social network is nearby. Or simply never forget a name or face again — your AR glasses could recognize a user via computer vision and serve up his profile information to you via AR directly to your glasses.
Find Your Car is available on iOS devices. Car Finder AR is available on Android devices. Neon is currently in beta.