September 7, 2016
With the unexpected and booming success of Pokémon Go’s launch, the rest of the tech industry and even the general populace is turning their attention to augmented reality applications. Immediate calls for and rumors surrounding a “Harry Potter Go” app began to surface, and whether or not the Pokémon Go developers, Niantic, decide to undertake such a project is still up in the air.
Augmented reality is the hot new topic in technology, so here we’ve called out some upcoming and existing apps to keep your eye on.
Top Augmented Reality Applications
Apple’s New Patent
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, commented that Apple will be investing in AR in the long run due to the success of Pokémon Go, and they recently just had a new patent approved. The application is likely tied to their acquisition of Flyby Media, which developed a technology that can analyze your surroundings. The patent seems to describe an application that can tell you where you are within a building without relying on your GPS to do so. It uses internal tools within the phone, like the altimeter, to gain a sense the layout of the room. Using an app like this, you might be able to find your way across the mall or department store to the section you’re looking for or better find your seat at a stadium.
If you’re in the market for new home furnishings, Snapshot Showroom sounds like a useful tool. It allows you to snap a picture of the room you wish to decorate and then populate it with items from major retailers like Ikea. You can experiment with color and patterns to find the perfect design.
It’s by no means new, but Sky Map was and is one of the top AR applications on the market. It was originally developed as Google Sky Map, but since then, it has been donated and made open source. As a testament to its quality, it has over 300,000 five-star reviews on the Google Play Store. By pointing your phone to the sky, Sky Map will identify constellations, planetary bodies, and individual stars to create your own “hand-held planetarium.”
Google makes another appearance on this list with Google Translate. While it’s useful for audio and text translation, it’s even better as an augmented reality application. By setting a language and pointing your camera at a sign, your screen will display that same sign written in English. For example, Salida will read “Exit.” When traveling abroad, this can be an extremely handy tool.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Even though the initial craze of Pokémon Go appears to be leveling out, it proves a few things about augmented reality. AR in the mobile gaming market has extreme potential, and consumers are fascinated with mixing the physical and digital worlds. Though Harry Potter Go may never come to be, we can almost guarantee that another well-known franchise will find a way to leverage Niantic’s success for their own augmented reality game.
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