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Augmented Reality Apps

Augmented reality (AR) is computer generated content integrated into a view of the real world. Can mobile augmented reality apps surpass actual reality?

Augmented Reality: Project Glass

I  recently wrote about Google Googles when I discussed  wearable devices. Yesterday Google’s Project Glass unveiled a video displaying their intent:

I’m a geek. I cannot help finding this ridiculously cool. I posted the video to Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter. I went around showing the video to people with my Android phone joyfully talking about the coolness of augmented reality. As you can see, the glasses display a wealth of features such as:

  • Reminders
  • Calendar
  • Place a call
  • GPS navigation
  • Notifications
  • Camera
  • Google Plus integration (naturally)
  • Music playing
  • Webcam integration (to and from)

Honestly, Project Glass looks to me like a much cooler virtual assistant than Siri. What do you think?

Augmented Reality - Marvel AR appAugmented Reality: Marvel AR

Earlier this week Marvel comics launched the Marvel AR app to enhance their print publishing business. This app will allow users to scan the AR logo with their Android or iOS devices and receive access to exclusive content. This content is not currently available with Marvel’s digital comics, but they are hoping to get there. They are using this as a mechanism to enhance their print publication, while at they same time using this as research to allow them to innovate further in the future.

Avengers vs X-Men #1 cover

Scan this image with the Marvel AR app and watch the cover come to life

This week’s Avengers vs X-Men#1 was the first comic supported by the app. The cover was honestly the best part can even be scanned with your mobile device if you are reading this on a desktop computer (though I’d suggest cover on the left to open a larger image). This will display a little movie giving you an introduction to the event.

Inside the comic were multiple Marvel AR symbols that you could scan. I tried to scan them while reading the comic to see if they enhanced the experience, but it actually took me out of the story. I also found the non-cover content a bit difficult to scan if the page was not completely flat or if there was any glare involved, and some of the digital content was a bit pixelated.

You need to look at the augmented reality content as something like DVD extras, not something that changes the comic reading experience. Doing the AR stuff while reading would be like watching a TV show on DVD for the first time and clicking the button to watch all the deleted scenes during the episode. Look at that stuff after. The extras involved gave little bits such as background information on characters, informational content from the writer, and page break downs showing the comic in the original pencil stage, then the inked stage, and the finally the completed color stage.

What are your thoughts on augmented reality? Please leave a comment sharing any positive or negative experience you may have had.

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About

Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.
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