5 Cool Augmented-Reality Apps
Augmented reality is here, and it's here to stay. Want proof? Check out Google's new Project Glass glasses that debuted this month, which have us at The Recapp thinking about The Jetsons’ flying cars and Star Trek-like getups.
But until those glasses are free, we've got five augmented-reality apps that might also blow your mind. Ever wondered what the name of that star is just to the right of the moon? How about the price of that house you've been eyeing in the neighborhood over? Well, you won't be able to do any of those things just standing there empty-handed. But with your phone and these five augmented-reality apps, almost anything is possible.
We've all wanted to transport ourselves to another place. (Well, at least all of us here at The Recapp think it'd be cool.) With TourWrist, you can gaze up at the Eiffel Tower from its base, or you can settle yourself in a relaxing Playa del Carmen resort without ever leaving your own backyard. Check out your neighbor's newly remodeled living room without actually walking over, or go to a beautiful, remote beach in Sri Lanka. Even upload your own tour of your living room to TourWrist.
Using 360-degree images and a gyroscope setting, TourWrist lets you move with your images—take your phone to the right and your image will expand to the right, or turn your phone up to view the top of the picture. Sign up for an account, and you can can create your own tours of anything you want people to see. Three words: addictive, informative, simple. (Free for iPhone)
If you're a golf nut who's got 20 minutes to kill, Gigaputt is the app for you. With the augmented-reality golf game app, you can hit the links in your neighborhood, or another of your choosing, using a variety of different personas. Tee off in your own driveway and walk after your ball, or never leave your couch and play lying down. There are cool bonuses along the way and difficult obstacles, but the best part is this golf game won't break any (real) windows or tear up your neighbor's rosebushes. ($1.99 for iPhone)
Wanted: home buyers. This augmented-reality app is a gold mine for anyone out there that is looking to buy new real estate. Or, maybe you're just curious what that big tudor on the corner is worth.
Take a picture with HomeSnap and the app provides you a property's price, the year it was built, the address and a lot of other pedigree information that would take you hours to find on your own. And if you don't want the homeowner screaming at you for taking pictures of his house, go on Stealth mode and gather information under the radar. Yes, HomeSnap is cool. (Free for iPhone)
Space: the final frontier. With Star Walk, you become the leader of a celestial journey with limitless possibilities. Neil Armstrong, eat your heart out.
Ever wanted to know the name of a star, the constellation it's part of, or maybe if it's a satellite, reflecting solar flares? With Star Walk, you'll know all of that and much, much more. The app uses augmented reality to put the universe at your fingertips—just direct your device's screen to the sky, lock into place with a celestial body like the moon, and begin to navigate the sky with the app's markers and educational information. Never has astronomy been so easy, fun and accessible. ($2.99 for iPhone)
Layer your world with various pieces of information using Layar, the all-purpose, augmented-reality app. Looking to find out about that restaurant you've been wanting to try? Layar can help by providing information from customer reviews to menu pricing, all from your exact location. Different layers (these come in different categories and can be downloaded for free within the app) can also recognize magazine pages, posters, newspapers and more, as long as the objects feature the View with Layar logo.
And by now you've seen QR codes (those block barcode thingies) pretty much everywhere, right? Use Layar to scan codes and the app will give you content to augment your camera's image. (Free for Android and iPhone)