Augmented Reality News « Next Reality Bringing the impossible worlds of our imagination to life.

  • ARCore 101: How to Create a Mobile AR Application in Unity, Part 3 (Setting Up the App Controller)
    by Jason Odom on April 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of programming languages and variations of those languages that exist. Currently, in the augmented reality space, it seems the Microsoft-created C# has won out as the overall top language of choice. While there are other options like JavaScript and C++, to name a few, C# seems to be the most worthwhile place to invest one's time and effort. Of course, this is at least partially due to its heavy adoption by Unity, the most widely used engine for AR development. In the previous part of our series on building an AR mobile app for Android, we created our... mor […]

  • ARCore 101: How to Create a Mobile AR Application in Unity, Part 2 (Setting Up the Framework)
    by Jason Odom on April 20, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    With the software installation out of the way, it's time to build the framework within which to work when building an augmented reality app for Android devices. The journey to learn how to develop software can be a long and tough road. Fortunately, software developers, in ways dissimilar to other technical and creative spaces, generally do a great job of making the path forward easier for those that follow. This is likely due to the influence of the open-source philosophy that has reigned in software development over the last 20 years. Regardless of the reasoning, the price of admission... mor […]

  • View the Lands You'll Conquer in 'God of War' with Mimir's Vision AR App
    by Tommy Palladino on April 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    With the heavily anticipated installment of the God of War game series arriving on April 20, PlayStation has taken the opportunity to make its first foray into mobile augmented reality with a companion app. God of War: Mimir's Vision, available now for free on the App Store and Google Play, lets players with devices compatible with ARKit and ARCore, respectively, to project a 3D map of the game's world on their coffee tables. In a sense, players become gods looking down upon their kingdoms. Once the virtual landscape, which probably owes a nod to the opening sequence of Game of Thrones, is... mor […]

  • Star Wars Holochess Comes to ARKit-Friendly iPhones & iPads
    by Adario Strange on April 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Part of the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges experience that was once exclusive to users of Lenovo's Mirage AR headset is now available to anyone with an ARKit-compatible iOS device. The updated version of the Jedi Challenges app now lets iPhone and iPad users running iOS 11 to play the Holochess game mode that's featured in the head-mounted device version of the game. Available as a free download, when you open the app, you're now presented with an "ARKit Holochess" option on the app's opening screen. When you select that, as with most ARKit apps, you're prompted to scan for a floor surface... mor […]

  • Coachella & Eminem Hit High Notes with Augmented Reality Mobile Apps
    by Tommy Palladino on April 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    The annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of those events that everyone talks about, so an augmented reality experience in the festival's mobile app and from one of its headlining acts, Eminem, basically means the technology is officially cool. The iOS version of the festival's app includes the Coachella Camera, which facilitates AR experiences for festival attendees. Video: . Outside of the festival, users scan the Welcome Box that they receive with their iPhones or iPads to unlock an immersive surprise, which includes an animated Disco Shark that dances on a horizontal... mor […]

  • Facebook Camera Can Now Change Your World into an AR Paint Canvas
    by Tommy Palladino on April 13, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    For social media platforms like Facebook, augmented reality represents a whole new art form with which users can express themselves online. Now, Facebook is giving those users a new brush. A new AR painting tool for Facebook Camera, which began rolling out to users on Monday, leaves virtual trails that continually pulse and change colors. Not surprisingly, the creations can be captured in photos and video, and shared via Facebook and its Stories feature. "We wanted to give people an easy way to create with augmented reality and draw in the world around them," said John Barnett, product... mor […]

  • Magic Leap's Website Has an Immersive Reality Experience Hidden in Plain Sight, if You Know Where to Look
    by Adario Strange on April 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Magic Leap loves to stoke mystery around its still unreleased product, the Magic Leap One: Creator Edition, and now we've found yet another piece of the puzzle in the form of an Easter egg on the company's website. When you hit one of Magic Leap's 404 error pages, you see a slightly disorganized 3D illustration of "404" along with a light bulb that flashes on and off. Seems like a fairly normal and somewhat clever-looking 404 page. Most people would move along and think nothing of it. But if you're among the absolutely obsessed Magic Leap followers, like the one on Reddit who discovered the... mor […]

  • Nickelodeon Reels in AR Mode for Popular Mobile Game Sky Whale
    by Tommy Palladino on April 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    One of the most popular mobile games out there for kids has added an augmented reality mode that brings the titular character into the real world. An update of Nickelodeon's Sky Whale, available now on the App Store and Google Play renders the game's oceanic environment and its aquatic mammal in augmented reality. The objective of the game is to guide the narwhal and collect as many donuts as possible in the allotted time. Players can accrue coins to unlock special items that enhance the character's abilities or direct the character to bounce off clouds and other objects to accelerate the... mor […]

  • Zara AR App Brings Virtual Models to Life in Stores
    by Tommy Palladino on April 12, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Department store chain Zara is temporarily ditching its mannequins and dressing up its stores with augmented reality experiences featuring virtual versions of real fashion models. Rolling out to 120 of its flagship stores worldwide, customers inside and outside the stores can view AR activations through the Zara AR app for iOS and Android. Store windows and in-store podiums, as well as shipping boxes for online orders, will display AR content when scanned. Video: . The experience shows AR images of international models including Léa Julian and Fran Summers, who pose, strut, and speak in AR... mor […]

  • Microsoft Japan Concept Video Demos How HoloLens Will Help Pilot the Drone Ships of the Future
    by Adario Strange on April 10, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Although the HoloLens is still primarily the domain of developers and researchers, the device is nevertheless on the cutting edge of showing us what will be possible with augmented reality in the coming years. The latest example comes via Microsoft Japan and a new concept video that shows off how the HoloLens will be used in the relatively near future to pilot autonomous ships. Japan's JRCS, a company focused on maritime logistics and the production and sale of electronic equipment for the shipping industry, has teamed up with Microsoft Japan to launch the JRCS Digital Innovation Lab. The... mor […]

  • Apple iPhone X Owners Get a Trio of Super-Realistic Snapchat Lenses Aided by the TrueDepth Camera
    by Tommy Palladino on April 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Snapchat has released three new augmented reality Lenses that boast uber-accurate face tracking courtesy of the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X and ARKit. Starting on Friday, professional wrestler-style face paint, a Day of the Dead-inspired mask with gold roses, and a golden masquerade ball mask with pink flowers will appear in the Snapchat Lens carousel for iPhone X users, per a company spokesperson. The Lenses were originally revealed during the iPhone X launch event six months ago, with Craig Federighi, the senior vice-president of software engineering at Apple, presenting a live... mor […]

  • ARCore 101: How to Create a Mobile AR Application in Unity, Part 1 (Setting Up the Software)
    by Jason Odom on April 5, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    If you've contemplated what's possible with augmented reality on mobile devices, and your interest has been piqued enough to start building your own Android-based AR app, then this is a great place to to acquire the basic beginner skills to complete it. Once we get everything installed, we'll create a simple project that allows us to detect surfaces and place custom objects on those surfaces. For months now, between ARKit and ARCore, we at Next Reality have seen and posted experience after experience, use-case after use-case, showcasing the competing mobile AR toolsets at their best. Games... mor […]

  • Pretend You're Playing Golf in The Masters Tournament with Snapchat's Latest AR Lens
    by Tommy Palladino on April 5, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    With the Masters, one of professional golfing's four most prestigious annual tournaments, now in full swing, Snapchat is giving users the ability to commemorate the moment in augmented reality. A new Lens in the Snapchat camera carousel places a white visor with the Masters logo and a pair of mirrored sunglasses on the user's face. And when a Snapchat user opens their mouth while using the Lens, a golf club swings across the screen and sends a golf ball flying off screen. All the while, the distinctive piano theme of the tournament plays in the background. The experience doubles as a portal... mor […]

  • App from Japan Uses Apple's iPhone X to Transform Your Face & Voice into the Cutest Anime Character
    by Adario Strange on April 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Apple's iPhone X now has the power to turn anyone into a Japanese anime character, thanks to a new app that harnesses the device's TrueDepth camera. Created by Tokyo-based ViRD Inc., the Puppemoji app allows you to transcend the confines of Apple's Animoji characters and record videos of yourself wearing virtual masks. Although the app highlights several anime character options, you can also don the visage of a sloth, a video game character, or simply place a black bar over your eyes if all you're looking for is a bit of anonymity without the added dose of character whimsy offered by the... mor […]

  • This Augmented Reality Panda App Uses the Voice of Kristen Bell to Teach Kids About Nature
    by Tommy Palladino on April 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    What's black and white, sounds like actress Kristen Bell, and is standing in your living room talking to your kids right now? Don't worry, that's just Genius the Panda, an augmented reality character from the Yakables app for iPhones and iPads. Using ARKit to place the animated panda in the user's physical environment, the app uses speech recognition to enable children to carry on a guided conversation with Genius the Panda. The app presents a series of questions on screen about pandas, such as how much they weigh or what they eat. Children can then read the questions aloud, and Genius the... mor […]

  • Artsy Claims Crown as First App to Take Advantage of ARKit's New Wall-Crawling Abilities
    by Tommy Palladino on April 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Less than a week after ARKit 1.5 became available to the public through the iOS 11.3 update, the App Store has its first app with AR features (Artsy) to leverage Apple's AR toolkit update. Using ARKit's new vertical surface detection capabilities, Artsy gives users with compatible iPhones and iPads to view the art retailer's collection of more than 800,000 pieces of art, including famous works and examples from emerging artists, on the walls of their own homes and offices. Customers can then purchase or bid on items they like, with over 500,000 eligible for acquisition. Isca... mor […]

  • Microsoft Shows Off Rare Images of Early HoloLens Prototypes
    by Adario Strange on April 3, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    All those early prototype images Magic Leap is so fond of showing off are great, but they rank a far second when compared to a new set of images just revealed by Microsoft in relation to the HoloLens. In a blog post on Tuesday, Microsoft's Bay Area Team posted images of the early prototype devices that led to the eventual release of the HoloLens. Accompanying the images are direct accounts from the team who worked on the device beginning in Sept. 2012, about two years before the company would unveil the device to the public in Jan. 2015 and kick off the next phase of immersive computing in... mor […]

  • Snapchat Highlights Augmented Reality Feature in New Group Video Chat
    by Tommy Palladino on April 3, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Snapchat has added yet another social feature to its mobile app, and this one makes it possible to use augmented reality with a group of friends over video. Rolling out worldwide this week, the new Group Video Chat feature gives Snap users the opportunity to video conference with as many as 16 friends simultaneously. The feature is activated through the video camera icon in any Group Chat thread. Friends will then be prompted to join with an invitation. What makes this different from your run-of-the-mill video chat is that it integrates Snapchat's AR Lenses. Using the tool, you can now chat... mor […]

  • New Magic Leap Images Appear as Saudi Prince Gets Demo from CEO Rony Abovitz
    by Adario Strange on April 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    It turns out that the government of Saudi Arabia has managed to do something last month's Game Developers Conference couldn't — give us a few new glimpses of the Magic Leap One being worn by someone other than Shaq. Last month, Magic Leap used GDC to launch its SDK, hold a number of private parties at a special "Magic Leap House," and even give a few select attendees private, apparently NDA-locked demos. But while many were hoping to see the company use the event to hold the first public demonstration of the device, Magic Leap instead opted to avoid even showing the headset in public. That's... mor […]

  • Snapchat Refocuses on Its Camera & AR Magic in New Marketing Push
    by Tommy Palladino on April 3, 2018 at 12:03 am

    With a fresh series of videos and a new webpage, Snapchat has composed an answer to its own question, "What is Snapchat?" In short, its answer is that "Snapchat is a camera." In an extended commercial (below) accompanying the new webpage, it's evident that the camera does quite a bit in AR as well. Video: . Snapchat followed up that commercial today with 10 tutorial videos explaining how to use its many features, including its AR Lenses. The Bitmoji tutorial also reminds users that their cartoon likenesses can also come to life in AR. Video: . The first quarter has not been particularly... mor […]

  • Snapchat's Easter Egg Hunt Showcases Potential for Branded Augmented Reality Games
    by Tommy Palladino on April 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Alongside the usual collection of holiday-themed Lenses, Snapchatters received an extra-special treat from Snapchat over the weekend—a world-spanning Easter egg hunt. Like a highly-simplified version of Pokémon GO, The Great Snapchat Egg Hunt challenged Snapchat users to retrieve virtual eggs from real-world locations. Players tap on the found target on the game map when they arrive at the location. In turn, the virtual egg is displayed in the Snapchat camera, where players again tap the egg to capture it and reveal an animated surprise in the form of a dancing bunny. In my limited gameplay... mor […]

  • Magic Leap Teases Cross-Platform Augmented Reality Experiences with iOS Developer Job Posting
    by Tommy Palladino on March 30, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Why would Magic Leap, a company preparing to launch its first augmented reality headset this year, need a developer for iPhone and iPad apps? It's not as crazy as it sounds. The company has published a job listing for a senior iOS application developer to "help create the future of Mixed Reality computing." On the surface, it's an odd request, particularly since the company's Lumin OS is derived from Linux and the Android Open Source Project. One day, a senior iOS application developer will also walk through these doors.. However, developer documentation on Magic Leap's Creator Portal... mor […]

  • Meet the 8-Year-Old ARKit Developer Who Just Uploaded Her First Augmented Reality App to Apple's App Store
    by Adario Strange on March 30, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    While you were busy browsing Instagram, composing tweets, or chasing Snapchat updates, an eight-year-old ARKit developer was hard at work on her first step toward taking over the tech world via augmented reality. A new app called A.R.tist, created by Nova Fleming, allows users to paint the real world in an array of colored lines in AR. Available for free on Apple's iOS App Store, the app functions much like Google's recently released Just A Line, except that it adds color, and (for now) you can't save your drawings, you can only draw in AR and then clear the drawing and start over again. But... mor […]

  • Apple's iOS 11.3 Update Arrives for All With AR Vertical Surface Detection via ARKit 1.5 for iPhones & iPads
    by Tommy Palladino on March 29, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    If you have an ARKit-compatible iPhone or iPad, check for a software update, as iOS 11.3, with ARKit version 1.5 in tow, has just dropped. As we previously reported, ARKit 1.5 brings several new augmented reality features for app developers to use. Apps supporting the toolkit will be able to recognize vertical and irregularly-shaped surfaces, which will allow content to rest in its environment more realistically. ARKit 1.5 also brings image recognition, which app developers can leverage for AR art tours or visual product searches. Apple also boasts a higher resolution pass-through camera view... mor […]

  • Dev Report: Microsoft's First HoloLens Update in Over a Year Now Available in Preview, Hints at Big Plans for 2018
    by Jason Odom on March 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    After more than a year and a half of silence, the rumors have morphed into reality: Microsoft has finally released an update for the HoloLens. And with that update comes a collection of new features that hint at big plans for the HoloLens this year. For most HoloLens-focused developers, Microsoft's silence throughout 2017, in terms of updates, was deafening. Taking into account the age of the device, and the philosophy behind the Universal Windows Platform (UWP)—designed to allow an application made for one particular device to work on other devices within the Windows ecosystem—watching major... mor […]

  • An Augmented Reality Game Brings the Monsters of The Rock's 'Rampage' to Your City Skyline
    by Tommy Palladino on March 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Given Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's blockbuster movie pedigree and the promotional power that usually accompanies his work, there's a certain predictable symmetry in the news that Rampage, a movie adaptation of the classic arcade game, has now become an augmented reality mobile app. Rampage: AR Unleashed, developed by Los Angeles-based AR studio Trigger, is available now on the App Store and Google Play. With the app, users can summon George the gorilla, Ralph the wolf, and Lizzie the alligator into their immediate environment and watch them (virtually) demolition their surroundings. In... mor […]

  • ARCore 101: How to Create a Mobile AR Application in Unity
    by Jason Odom on March 26, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Now that ARCore is out of its developer preview, it's time to get cracking on building augmented reality apps for the supported selection of Android phones available. Since Google's ARCore 1.0 is fairly new, there's not a lot of information out there for developers yet — but we're about to alleviate that. Both Google's (ARCore) and Apple's (ARKit) augmented reality solutions are for their supported existing devices — without requiring additional hardware. This is a major leap forward for AR developers since there are millions of these devices already in the public's hands. So with the ability... mor […]

  • Niantic Defends Against App Clones with Quests & Mew Character for Pokémon GO
    by Tommy Palladino on March 26, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    With the Google Maps API giving entertainment brands the means to build their own location-based AR games, Niantic is raising the bar for the genre with new updates to Pokémon GO. In a blog post published on Monday, Pokémon GO announced the addition of research tasks to the app that, when completed, offer rewards in the form of various items, as well as Pokémon encounters, possibly culminating in the discovery of the elusive Mew. Akin to quests in gaming parlance, the game will present players with two types of research tasks. Field Research tasks will spawn from spinning PokéStops and... mor […]