Augmented reality is a live view of a real-world environment enhanced by a computer-generated image. Pokémon Go is an example.
Augmented reality has recently experienced a flurry of new apps, due primarily to Apple’s release of the ARKit augmented reality framework for iOS. Apps can now detect the position, topology, and expression of the user’s face, all with high accuracy and in real time, making it easy to apply live selfie effects or use facial expressions to drive a three-dimensional character.
Here is a list of innovative augmented reality apps from merchants and brands to help shoppers experience products in a whole new way. There are apps to arrange furniture, sample colors, decide what to eat, play games, and more.
Target: ‘See It In Your Space’
Target launched a new augmented reality feature on its mobile website called “See It In Your Space.” Guests shopping the new Project 62 line can use the feature to place three-dimensional versions of Target home products within photos of actual rooms, and move the products around at proper scale to see how they would look — all before buying.
See It In Your Space is Target’s latest experiment with augmented reality. Last spring, Target.com debuted 360-degree shopping, which is a virtual living room designed to help guests visualize size and scale items and provide styling guidance. See It In Your Space is currently available to use for 200 Project 62 home products.
IKEA Place lets you virtually insert IKEA products in your space. The app includes 3D and true-to-scale models of sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and more. Scan an empty section of a floor, search the available list of products and select one, and position the product. Select other products and add them to your room to make a new place. The app also lets you share your place with social apps, such as WhatsApp or Instagram, and ultimately order your products through the IKEA store.
Sephora: Virtual Artist
Beauty makeup retailer Sephora now has a virtual artist to provide shoppers with augmented reality makeovers, to instantly try on eye, lip, and cheek makeup, to get inspired and try looks created by Sephora experts. Shoppers can learn new techniques step-by-step with tutorials customized to their own face. They can snap a photo to find a shade match for any outfit, accessory, or celebrity look.
With WayfairView, shoppers can move and rotate products to experiment with various layouts and view them at multiple angles. They can also save and share photos and seamlessly connect to Wayfair’s shopping app in Google Play to make a purchase. WayfairView is available for download on Google Play.
TapPainter lets you visualize interior spaces in new colors with respect to natural lighting conditions. It analyzes the change in interior lighting, preserves it, and adjusts the color brightness based on the room’s lighting within the image. Shoppers can access color fan decks of all paint brands loaded into the app.
Chairish is a home decorating marketplace for design enthusiasts to buy and sell chic vintage furniture and décor. Shoppers can use the “View In Your Space” feature to preview items in their own home using their phone’s camera. Shoppers can then snap a photo and easily share with friends, family, or designers, for feedback.
Housecraft is an augmented reality app to test virtual furniture in your home. Housecraft uses your device’s camera and the power of augmented reality to let you place fully rendered 3D models. Feel exactly how big objects are and how they’ll fit. Save room configurations and try them out anywhere. For furniture companies, Housecraft has customization tools, to add branded 3D models directly to Housecraft.
Webby Award winner Amikasa helps consumers design their dream interiors. Consumers can recreate and style their room using furniture and décor from real brands. Then they can use augmented reality to see how the furniture looks in the room before they buy. Global brands and individuals with one product can add their items to Amikasa with direct links to their web shop.
Kabaq enables consumers to see realistic virtual 3D food on their table in restaurants, or for purchasing food online. Diners using Kabaq can experience an interactive, 360 view of each dish. Restaurants can allow patrons to view all the dishes on the menu through smart devices, increasing engagement. Patrons can see portion size, visualize ingredients, and be presented with complimentary food items.
Quiver takes 3D augmented reality to the next level. Simply print off any coloring page from Quiver’s website or app. Every colored page comes to life in its uniquely colored way. Interact and play games with the animated characters by touching the screen. View the animation from any angle.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR is designed for preschoolers and for fans of author Eric Carle. With this augmented reality app, the popular children’s book caterpillar is brought to life. Hatch him from an egg and feed him tasty fruit. As he eats more, he grows bigger, until he changes into a beautiful butterfly and flies up into the sky. The app features a wide range of interactive activities and discoveries to develop nurturing skills and encourage a love of nature.
The Walking Dead Encounter
Engage walkers in the real world with The Walking Dead Encounter, the official augmented reality experience of AMC’s television series, available for iOS and Android.