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Augmented Reality

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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.

Bose Frames AR Augmented Reality

Bose today intrduced Frames, an innovative product combining the style of premium sunglasses, functionality of wireless headphones, and the world’s first audio augmented reality platform, into a single wearable. Simply put, these take micro-acoustics and voice control to a whole new level. Sporting a proprietary open-ear design, they are capable of streaming music, information, take / make calls, and access virtual assistants, all the while keeping playlists, entertainment, as well as conversations private. It’s powered by a lithium battery that connects to an included pogo-pin cable for charging. When fully charged, they’re good for up to 3.5 hours for playback and 12 hours on standby – can be fully recharged in less than two hours. Frames, along with the Bose AR app, will be available in January 2019 for $199, with pre-orders starting today. Read more a hands-on video, additional pictures and information.

Arm-a-Dine Robotic Feeding Arm

Arm-A-Dine, developed by researchers at RMIT University’s Exertion Games Lab, is a prototype chest-mounted robotic feeding arm of sorts that is designed to augment the social experience of eating. This contraption not only grabs food from the table, but also decides on who to feed it to, thanks to a facial recognition app running on an attached smartphone. That’s right, it scans your partner’s expression and only feeds them if they’re smiling, while a neutral expression causes the arm to hover ambiguously in the middle. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Disney PuppetPhone
You can either play video games to control characters that can agilely evolve in virtual environments, or use Disney Research’s PuppetPhone. Simply put, this augmented reality experience reduces the gap between physical toys and virtual characters. As you move your smartphone around, a puppet responds in real time to the manipulations seen through the screen. “The virtual character moves in order to follow the user gestures, as if it was attached to the phone via a rigid stick,” according to the paper. Read more for the video and additional information.