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Augmented Reality

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Microsoft HoloLens 2 US Army

Photo credit: US Army via The Verge
Microsoft won a $480-million contract to supply prototypes for augmented reality systems to the US Army for use on combat missions and in training back in November. This contract could eventually lead to the military purchasing over 100,000 headsets and is intended to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.” Here’s a first look at how these special HoloLens 2 headsets look. “Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” said a Microsoft spokesman said in an email statement. Read more for another video and additional information.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Pokemon Go

The first Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay footage has surfaced, and it builds upon Pokémon GO’s augmented reality technology. This free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game inspired by the Wizarding World is being developed by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic. Instead of Pokémon, the game lets players fight against mythical beasts from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise. How is this game different? Well, Ninantic did purchase Escher Reality, so the game is expected to implement new technology to allow for persistent worlds within AR. Read more for another video and additional information.

Apple Patent Augmented Reality
A patent titled “Systems, methods and graphical user interfaces for interacting with Augmented and Virtual Reality environments” could be hinting at the development of an Apple Augmented Reality (AR)-based headset that would connect to an iPhone and enable users experience an environment where computer images are projected on the real world. The headset would wirelessly communicate with a computer and iPhone. Read more for a picture of the filing and additional information.

Pictionary Air AR

Photo credit: CNET
Mattel has just announced Pictionary Air, an AR-powered version of the classic board game where players draw in the air using a light pen while their smart device (or television) tracks their movements. Rather than using a traditional pen and paper to draw pictures for players to identify, you are provided with a light-up pen and then the drawing is cast in real-time onto a mobile device or TV equipped with Chromecast or AirPlay. Read more for a hands-on video preview and additional information.

LEGO Augmented Reality
The LEGO Group today introduced Hidden Side, an augmented reality-enhanced LEGO play theme where you must turn a haunted world back to normal, one ghost at a time, at the New York City Toy Fair. It’s currently the only play experience available today that fully and seamlessly integrates augmented reality (AR) with physical construction to reveal a hidden world of interactive play. It includes a series of eight “haunted” building sets full of amazing functionality and hidden surprises that, on their own, provide the build and role-play fun of any LEGO play theme. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Pokemon Go Snapshot AR+ Mode
Pokémon Go is set to get a Snapshot mode, in addition to the AR+ mode, that lets you to pose and interact with creatures you’ve already captured. Simply open the camera or navigate to a specific Pokémon in your bag, tap the screen to toss their Poké Ball to that place, and then you’ll be able to move around the life-sized Pokémon for optimal angles for your photos. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Augmented Reality Google Maps AR

The Google Maps augmented reality navigation may only be available to Local Guides (community reviewers) for now, but these new videos provide a first look at the feature. Just to recap, Google Maps uses GPS get your location, and then uses the camera to pinpoint where you are with 3D arrows hovering over places you need to turn. If you hold the phone up in AR mode for too long, the app automatically darkens the screen to force a change to conserve battery power, data, as well as safety. Read more for another hands-on video preview.

Google Maps Augmented Reality
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal
Google Maps is currently testing an augmented reality feature, first unveiled at the 2018 I/O developer’s conference, that provides users with turn-by-turn directions from your phone’s camera in real-time. It works by first locating a person via GPS and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to your exact point. Once this is determined, big arrows and directions appear on-screen. Read more for a video and additional information.

Warby Parker Augmented Reality iPhone X
Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program back in 2010 allowed customers to select multiple new frames online before testing them out for five days in person. Once finished, they could commit to a pair of glasses after returning the frames by mail. Today, the company released a tool that allows customers to try on frames in its app using augmented reality. It’s actually the first app capable of rendering the glasses in a live, 3-D preview on your face with augmented reality. Read more for a video of it in-action and additional information.

Artificial Intelligence Software Hair Color

Photo credit: Electric Amanda
The YouCam Makeup app combines artificial intelligence with augmented reality to let you change your hair color in real-time. When the software is opened, it automatically maps your facial features to give you the most true-to-life makeup application possible. Users can select from either a real-time makeover using Makeup Cam or simply overlay cosmetics onto selfies and portrait photos. You can also try on stylish accessories or even a new pair of sunglasses to see how they would look even before actually touching them. Read more for another video example and additional information.