10 augmented reality apps

Many people have still not realized the multitude of augmented reality (AR) apps that is out there waiting to be downloaded. To most the concept is still futuristic without realizing that they have been using such apps for a long time. Snapchat and Pokémon Go are prime examples of AR apps which are quite popular. That being said here is a list of AR apps that are either fun to use or simply shows how far AR technology has already been implemented in applications for mobile devices.

  • Ingress (Android, iOS) (Free) The game Ingress was the winner of the Grand Prize at the 2015 Japanese Media Arts Festival. The same people who are behind Pokémon Go are behind this app; Niantic, Inc. Just as Pokémon Go you have to take the streets to play this game. Players join rival teams “The Enlightened” and “The Resistance” and battle against each other. Playing this game will lead you on a path to many famous buildings and landmarks.

  • Wikitude (Android, iOS) (Free) This app gives you the ability to give your surroundings augmented reality content, connecting you to the world in its own special way. You can use the app to search for something specific like “hamburger joint” and then look around through your phone to see what your surrounding area has to offer. This does not only work for restaurants but you could use the app to scan anything around you to see if they provide AR content. Scan a magazine and see if you get additional content like videos or promotions!

  • Star Walk 2 - Night Sky Guide (Android, iOS) (€2,99) If you have ever looked up to the sky and wondered what exactly you are looking at then you should consider buying this app. This app is a map of the stars, planets, moons, constellations and other wonders in the sky. After launching the app, point your camera to the sky and you will get detailed information of your camera is capturing. You can even track man-made made missions and satellites like the ISS.

  • Quiver - 3D Coloring App (Android, iOS) (Free, in-app purchases) This app is a mix between traditional coloring books and AR. You can use this app to make your drawings come to life! You can download free templates using the app, print them out and then fill them out with your favorite colors. Afterwards simply use the app to scan your drawings and see them portrayed in 3D. The apps also boasts other features like being able to interact with animated characters by ‘touching’ them.

  • Amikasa (iOS) (Free) If you ever been furniture shopping you probably know the hassle of trying to picture how exactly they will look like in your room. This app changes that. With this app you can use AR to decorate your room using furniture and decors from real brands. From now on you will only buy furniture that actually fits and looks good in your room!

  • Google Translate (Android, iOS) (Free) If you are a traveler you simply should have this app on your smartphone. The app allows you to point your camera to a text in a foreign language and have it translated to the language of your choice. A menu is in Chinese? Through the screen of your phone it could be in Spanish, English or any other language! The app also gives you the ability to download language packages so you don’t have to have an active internet connection to use it.

  • WallaMe (Android, iOS) (Free) WallaMe is a fun little app allowing you to leave either hidden or public messages virtually on any wall in the real world. You simply have to walk up to a wall, take a picture of it and then leave a message or a freehand sketch. Afterwards you can also choose to share your AR creations with your friends.

  • Yelp (Android, iOS, Kindle) (Free) When it comes to reviews about restaurants and businesses worldwide Yelp has always been the leader. Combine this with AR technology and you got yourself an app worth having in your arsenal. The app uses your GPS location to display markers on reviewed businesses in your surroundings. It also has a feature for those who have signed up for a Yelp account where you see which businesses your friends have recently been to. Note: Depending on when you are reading this, the AR part of Yelp could still only be available on the iOS.

  • Anatomy 4D This app is one of the best educational apps currently available for your smartphone. It’s a wonderful tool to learn about the anatomy of the human body. The visuals are stunning and you can also interact with them. You simply have to print out an image from the app’s “Target Library”, put the image on a flat surface and then scan the it with your smartphone to see the educational show.

  • Inkhunter For those who are too afraid of getting a tattoo because they don’t know how it will look on them, there is an app for them. Using AR, Inkhunter lets you virtually place a tattoo on a body party which you can then see from different angles. You can use your own tattoo designs or choose one included in the app.

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