Best Augmented Reality Apps To Try Right Now
AR has long been imagined as a wild and futuristic concept, and the technology has been depicted in Hollywood movies such as Minority Report. The relevant technology has been around military and aerospace industry for years, and it is becoming more and more mainstream over time. While virtual reality provides user a total immersive teleportation experience, augmented reality apps is far more diverse and the applications are more closely connected to our physical world.
With recent release of Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARcore, augmented reality applications are already available right on your smartphone. Here are some of the top augmented reality app currently available for both iOS and Android smartphones.
Augmented Reality App Top Picks
Pokémon Go is a game that shocked the world when first released in 2016. The location based AR game developed by Niantic collaborated with Nintendo for iOS and Android devices. The game was downloaded over 500 million times worldwide and promote physical activities, gave people a good reason to go outside, and promote locate businesses as the game help increase foot traffic. Within a months after it’s release, Nintendo gained over $6 billion in market capitalization.
MeasureKit contains 7 augmented reality measuring tools for measuring just about anything. The toolsets include:
1) Ruler — measure straight lines on any surface, such as a desk or wall.
2) Trajectory — measure by “drawing” (moving your device) in the real world.
3) Marker Pin — measure distance from device camera to fixed points in space.
4) Angles — measure corners.
5) Person Height — measure how tall someone is.
6) Cube — visualize how big something is.
7) Level — check if something is horizontal or vertical
Chaining Mode in Ruler Tool enables you to quickly link multiple rulers together in one measuring session and measure the floor area enclosed by a chain. This is useful for determining an area of a room.
MeasureKit features an advanced built-in algorithm for understanding the world using ARKit. This enables the app to offer smooth and accurate measuring experience, such as measuring a painting on your wall.
How about you trying on your next tattoo before it is inked forever onto your skin? We think this is one of the coolest app ever invented because your next tattoo can be projected onto your any part of your body, resized, rotated to your favorite angle to let you see how it will look before you make it permanet. The app utilizes the phone’s camera and the AR tattoos look as real as fresh ink as it gets.
At the time of this writing, the app is only available on iOS but the developers have plans to release the app on Android and Windows phones.
The AR app allows you to leave hidden messages in designated locations from around the world that can only be read by people using this app. When using the application, users can take photo of a nearby wall, billboard, street or sign then use the built-in painting tool to create your own personal messages. You are also able to attach pictures to places you’ve chosen, also to prove that you were actually there. Encode special hidden message around the world and use only the app to decode it using the camera, message can also be made private as well, so that only friends and family using the app can see them.
Google Translate has long been our friend on the web translating whichever language we need. The new AR app allows users to take a photo of the text you need help on and the app will automatically translate the text in your photo in real time. You can use the app both online and offline. Language packs are available for download in offline mode. Next time you take a trip somewhere in the world, the app may just become your best friend when you are lost or stranded.
Amikasa helps you design your room before you ever go out to buy a piece of furniture. By using your iOS device’s camera, you can easily walk around the house or office and place 3D models of various objects to see how it looks or discover ideal placements. This includes the ability to change colors to fit the environment. The app uses names brand items and you can buy directly with Amikasa, and your AR virtual can also be shared through the app. The most recent update added additional kitchen Faucets, cabinets, and wall papers.
The game was Google’s first attempt to enter the AR market and regarded as the most creative AR app to date. Essentially, the game is a MMO that puts players into two teams, the Enlightened and the Resistance, where the two teams control virtual territories in a giant game of King of the Hill. Players would gain new material simply by walking around the game, and can use this material called Exotic Matter (XM) to take over virtual portals. When three or more portals are taken by a team, they gain control of the area between the portals. The game was first developed for Android exclusively, but they have now released an iOS version.
SpecTrek is an augmented reality fame that brings Ghostbuster to life right on your smartphone. The game places virtual poltergeist in your surrounding environment and allows users to hunt them down using the smartphone by hold the phone flat to show map of the area, and use the ghost radar to track them, hold it vertically launch scanner mode, and capture them with the phone’s internal camera. The game also provide statics, awards, records, and other cool features.
Zombies Go! (free)
Available for iOS, Zombies Go lets players fight zombies in the real world with your iPhone. In case you ever wonder what it is like to be in the zombie apocalypse, the game let’s you fight zombies while walking outside, waiting for the bus, or shopping for groceries. The game let you see creatures while holding up your phone and options to deal with it. Once you are done, simply exist the game in safe mode without being attacked.
The developers of AR app “ColARA Mix” is now Quiver. The app combines physical coloring from back in the day with cutting edge AR technology to bring you and your kids an extraordinarily magical experience.
Ever page comes to life with unique colored way way, giving the artist a special sense of ownership and pride. This app is both fun and educational for developing skills and knowledge on various topics.
Coloring book will always be popular as it allows children to apply their own creativity and artistic vision to elaborate on their favorite item, character, and places.
Ghost snap (free)
The game was inspired by the famous Hollywood movies, The Blair Witch Project. If you are ever bored at home or in an abandoned building and would like to freak yourself out, this game is for you. The game takes you with snapping images of ghosts while listening for scary sounds and encountering scary creatures. The purpose is to survive for as along as possible. You cannot run away, there will be no scape. The game is best played with headphone and at night.
Wikitude World Browser (free)
regarded as the king of AR browsers, the app serves as a third eye. Using your smartphone’s camera, the virtual browser is associated with over 3,500 content providers providing you just about any geographically relevant info people may find useful while traveling. The information is presented in the form of Wikipedia article detailing specific landmark, directions to the nearest ATM or even five star hotels. The apps allow you to find information via Yelp, TripAdvisor and similar websites. The built-in AR game include Alien Attack and Swat the Fly. The app also has bonus features to make and share your favorite location through Facebook.
The company is constantly optimizing Wikitude for the optimal user experience on as many platform and devices as possible. Bugs discovered can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yelp Monocle (free)
Yelp has always be at the forefront of the game, as the leading social review application provide iOS smartphones with it’s first AR app back in 2009, well before similar services started to emerge. This app uses the smartphone’s built-in GPS and compass to display AR markers for nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and other business in real-time. The app can also provide information on nearby business that your friends and family checked into, placing the AR marker to anyone utilizing this service.
Augmented Car Finder (free)
We’ve all done this before, after going to class or leaving a party and have absolutely no memory of where you parked your car. Fortunately, this AR car finder app was specifically designed to help assist you to finding your forgotten vehicle. Once the car location is set, the application generates a visible marker showing the car, how far you are from it, and the direction you need to take to get to it. This is particular useful for leaving events with a lot of people such as stadiums, conventions center, and raves. Users can also use the app to locate their seats in large theaters and concert halls. The free version should be enough for most users, although the premium paid version does remove the ad and provide additional tools for marking your spot with specific colored arrows.
While it is awesome to visualize furnitures in potential environment, being able to visual just about any 3D model in AR is something completely unique. Although somewhat complex, Augmented is an app designed to help boost sales, bring print to life, and see the possibilities. After signing up for an account, the app allows users to upload their own 3D image and tracker from applications such as Cinema 4D, Maya, and Sketchup and place the 3D objects in a virtual environment. Advance features requires a steep learning curve.
Cartoon band Gorillaz will be releasing their new album later this year, and their recently released app takes you into the very home in which 2D, Noodle, Murdoc, and Russel reside. Feel free to look around and check out the band member’s rooms. You may just discover things such as lyrics, playlist and more. You can even take picture of what you find and share it on social media.