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Augmented Reality: Ways we'll be using it more in 2012

The Gadget Show  Monday 13 February 2012

Augmented Reality: Ways we'll be using it more in 2012

Augmented Reality is an amazing technology that lets us see things that aren’t there, using the magic of cameras and tech to deliver new entertainment, shopping and life experiences. The technology has been around for a few years, but only now is it finding its way into all our lives. If you haven’t heard of Augmented Reality, you definitely will have by the end of this year. Here are some ways we’ll be using augmented reality more in 2012.

 Purchase a PlayStation Vita and you’ll gain access to a range of top quality Augmented Reality games. One of these is Reality Fighters – a game that encourages you to take a photo of yourself to become a character in the game. Augmented Reality lets you use your surrounding as the game’s backdrop. The Playstation Vita’s rear camera makes this possible. The illusion is that the action is taking place in your bedroom, workplace, wherever.

Toy manufacturers are finding an increasing number of ways to implement Augmented Reality into toys. One of our favourites is the recently-launched Xappr toy – a gun attachment with a dock for your iOS or Android phone that mimics real-life shooting. The idea is that rather than tapping a screen to fire at baddies, players pull the trigger of a gun and physically move around the environment to play. To passers-by you may look stupid, but anything that makes smartphone gaming more fun sounds like a win to us.

Shopping Aurasma teamed up last month with toy manufacturer Bandai to bring Thundercats toys to life using Augmented Reality. By pointing a smartphone camera at a toy box, children can see toys in action before a purchase is made. Try it for yourself. Download the free Aurasma app from the Apple App Store, or the Android Market, and visit your nearest toy store.

Magazines The same technology means could change the way we read magazines. More and more, companies are using adverts requiring readers to point their phone at a page to download the latest advert, movie trailer or voucher. It’s a more interactive way of engaging with the stuff we read in a way we wouldn’t have even dreamt of a few years ago.

To find our way City Lens is a new app for Nokia phones such as the Nokia Lumia 800 that lets you know which shops, restaurants and points interest are closest. To use it, download the app from Nokia Beta Labs and point your phone in any direction. The name of each point of interest and the distance in kilometres appears on-screen as if my magic, helping you find your way.

Are there any more exciting uses of augmented reality that you’ve discovered? Leave a comment and let us know.


augmented reality, smartphones, gaming

User comments (2)

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cant find city lens for the nokia lumia in nokia beta labs, i can only see it for symbian and meego?

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As a conductor of a choir it would be great if the choir could use the specs instead of using sheet music copies, that way they would be able to look at the conductor and not down at their music.

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