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Jul 12

5 Cool Augmented Reality Apps

Posted in Augmented Reality on by Maggie Lane

Ever since Apple’s ARKit was announced on June 5th, 2017, content creators have been like kids in a candy store. The new toolkit allows developers to create Augmented Reality apps, also known as AR experiences on the iPhone and iPad; and immediately transformed iOS devices into the biggest collective AR platform in the world.

While there are no official apps available yet, (the tech is due out on iOS 11) the community is doing some great things already.

Here we discuss a few of our favorite examples:


History, so often a dull subject, can literally unfold in front of you using ARKit. Here is a great example of the first moon landing by Tomás García. Although the scale is incorrect, the educational implications are amazing. Imagine being able to see historical events in your living room? Battlefields, meetings between politicians, assassinations etc -- these elements all become instantly accessible via your device. The sound design in this brief experience is also noteworthy for its immersion.


Our very own team at X Studios has been working with augmented reality for years and has recently adopted ARKit for mobile applications. The demo App below showcases the potential of live performance and characters embedded into augmented reality. The concept is based on a live Beatles’ concert performance.

The technique includes a combination of rotoscoping and 3D to sell the illusion. “Augmented reality offers content producers the ability to recreate historical events as well as live performances like no other technology” says David Morales, Co-Founder of X Studios. Imagine what it would have been like to have watched the group perform in front of you. This is a nice foreshadowing of the magic ARKit can produce for themed entertainment applications.  



In terms of sheer shock and awe, Nedd’s AR Portal really takes the cake. It feels both intuitive and magical. A portal to another world is most people’s dream -- and this experience makes the architecture seem effortless. Expect a LOT of gamified and portal apps when iOS 11 comes out.


Apart from entertainment or education, there are practical usages of ARKit to be found as well. The clearest example of this is Laan Labs’ tape measurer. As anyone who has ever fumbled when measuring furniture around the house can attest to, measuring can be a total pain. This app will streamline the process considerably, and appears to automatically save measurement data. Very handy indeed.


Norwegian developer Jelmer Verhoog doesn’t own a Tesla 3, but by using ARKit he was sure able to make it look like he does. It should be noted that this is unofficial Tesla IP. Yet, given the power of this app, it would be easy to see Tesla or other car manufactures producing similar Apps to provide customers the experience of customizing, and owning, their very own vehicle.

Although a lot is being accomplished in the ARKit space, this is only the beginning of true augmented reality applications for consumers . Over the coming months, Augmented Reality enthusiasts are sure to see even more applications that expand the mind and fabric of our reality. In fact, Apple has recently filed some patents which show a way to interact with ARKit without even having to use controllers. Now that Apple has entered the AR game, the eventual results are truly limitless. Is this the beginning of a truly augmented world?