上周四， ifanr 受法国电信之邀，参加了 MobileMonday北京 的活动，本期的话题是 “Augmented Reality Showcase”（增强现实技术展示），邀请到了Layer、ola Works、Qoncept、触景无线、盛大切客等 10 家国内外著名的 AR 技术公司进行分享与展示。本次活动为了协调各个公司之间的时间，将原本周一举办的活动延期到了周四，法国电信的会议主持人戴彬特意调侃了一番：什么时间举办是次要的，请到重量级的公司才是最关键的。事实证明， AR 技术的讲解和演示，确实赚取了在场所有人的眼球。
之前 ifanr 对 AR 技术有过一定的介绍与探讨。增强现实 （Augmented Reality） 技术并不是一项独立技术，它与现实生活中的各类信息结合紧密，通过传感器技术与数据库信息的结合使用，可以实现信息快速发掘、特殊场景展示、广泛分享等各种应用。看到 AR 产品的现场展示的第一眼，你一定会被这些产品的“酷劲儿”深深吸引，“好玩儿”是在场每个人的共同感受。看看这个视频，首先来感受一下它的酷吧！
根据 PEREY Research & Consulting 总裁 Christine Perey 女士的介绍，AR 的应用分类大致可以分为三类：
1、工业级 AR 应用
AR 技术诞生于上世纪五六十年代，起源于工业领域（应用于医疗、建筑等领域）。随着AR技术的不断发展，工业级 AR 技术已逐渐渗透到军事领域，提供战争地图、敌友军队位置信息、模拟战争环境等多种用途。
在现场，我们看到来自日本的 DIGITALCOM 公司 的产品，它展示了可用于博物馆内容介绍的设备和软件，拿着一个带有摄像头和液晶屏的设备，进入博物馆，通过强大的数据库识别能力，可以向游客实时讲解各类古董的历史来源等信息。
2、桌面及PC 的 AR 应用
游戏：上世纪九十年代，AR 技术应用于游戏领域的初期，主要采用 HMD(Head Mounted Display) 技术，带上一个特殊的头罩或眼罩，可以徜徉在现实和虚拟游戏世界。今年早些时候发布的3DS，将手持游戏设备对 AR 技术的支持推向了新的高度。
电子书：完全有别于目前呆板的E-ink等仅显示文字的技术。应用于 AR 领域的电子设备通过摄像头读取图书上的特殊标记符号识别后，可在屏幕上显示基于这本书内容的3D图画，是不是很酷？
3、手机 AR 应用
真正引爆 AR 市场的是智能手机的大量普及，利用手机便携特性，配合日益强大的运行计算能力，使增加各类场景到手机上成为可能。 iPhone 已经引入了对 AR 技术的支持，我们也看到了诸如car finder 这种实用性软件的出现，目前的智能手机已经突破硬件和软件的限制，发展前景无限。
来自韩国的 Ola Works 现场演示了利用手机 AR 技术识别人脸的软件，通过手机进行拍照识别，键入人名，再将相关传输到云端存储。后续见到这个人，忘了名字？没关系！拿出手机，打开软件，对准他，名字就自然而然的显现出来了，非常有意思。
Layer 公司及触景无线公司的 AR 平台无疑是本次活动的亮点。
来自于荷兰的 Layer 公司是 AR 技术的佼佼者，它提供了一个完全开放的 AR 技术平台，第三方程序可通过它的 API 开发各种增强现实的应用。触景无限于本月25日刚刚在北京发布了其 AR 平台，成为国内首家推出手机 AR 平台的公司。
触景无限的首席战略官檀林在介绍其平台时风趣地说“The Chinese answer to Layer is our platform”。会后我问了 Layer 的市场总监 King Yiu Chu 如何看待中国市场？他说 Layer 一直以来都很重视中国，在上海已经建立起了一支本土团队，立足中国市场意味着能够更好的拓展日本、韩国这些东亚市场，他认为一项新科技在一个市场的兴起，靠一家公司的推动是非常困难的，有向触景无限这样的中国本土团队一起培育这个市场是非常好的事情。另外，他说 Layer 刚刚又完成了新的一轮 4000 万美元融资，随着资金的到位，他们会将这个平台发展的更易用、更开放。
除了以上两家与会的公司外，Wikitude 也是一家提供 AR 平台的公司，目前可支持 iOS、Android 以及 Symbian 三个平台。
目前移动互联网产品，可以从产品本身获利，亦可搭建平台，赚取分成获利，各大公司纷纷布局，可见，后续 AR 平台间的竞争将更加激烈。
Android、iOS、Symbian 以及 Windows Phone 7 都已支持 AR 技术。苹果公司更是在 iPhone 4 上加入了陀螺仪技术，使得 AR 应用的稳定性和流畅性得到了更好的保障。目前，从 AR 产品支持角度来看，Android 和 iOS 是两大 AR 产品阵营，几乎所有的产品都支持这两个系统。少数产品能够支持 Symbian，如刚刚提到的 Wikitude 平台。LG 的 Optimus 7 是首款利用了微软 Windows Phone 7 平台特性支持 AR 的WP7 终端。
Android 和 iOS 无疑是 AR 技术应用的两大赢家，而 AR 技术是否能在 WP7 系统上有所作为，还需要微软公司的大力推动，相比之下，Symbian 目前的处境，想必诺基亚已是无暇顾及这些新技术的应用和推广了。
从现场展示的产品来看，手机应用中 AR 技术与 SNS 、LBS 的结合是各类应用的共同趋势。盛大切客已将它的 LBS 产品与 AR 技术融合应用，提供给用户差异化的体验。触景无限也展示了通过它的 AR 产品分享照片，从现场来看，这种通过增强现实技术结合 LBS 和 SNS 分享照片的应用更加有趣，比传统 LBS 简单的签到功能更能拉近用户之间的关系，它的实现方式也不完全同于color （SNS+LBS），而是实现了另一种将场景、产品与社交有效融合在一起的动态应用。来自韩国的Mobilebus 公司在现场展示了一款三国大战游戏，在会后的聊天中，其 CEO 也表示，正在寻找将 AR 游戏与 SNS 和 LBS 结合的方式。
AR 技术与SNS 和 LBS 的融合目前仍在探索期，随着产品的不断突破发展，给传统的 SNS、LBS 带来了新的挑战，产品间功能的迭代相近，是竞争也是机遇。我们看到了近期 LBS 艰难的转型，如何需找新的突破点，确实是一项需要深入思考的工作。
近几年智能终端的快速发展，使得 AR 技术的快速发展成为了现实。但是目前手机终端的部分局限也从一定程度上限制了 AR 技术的快速商业化应用。
手机电池容量。目前智能手机的电池容量普遍在 1500ma 左右，AR 应用需要手机开启照相机、长时间点亮屏幕、实时连接网络等各类操作同时进行，这些功能的使用对于电池来说无疑是个悲剧。
定位精度。目前不论是 AGPS 还是基站辅助定位，都无法非常准确的确定用户的位置，特别是在室内使用的话，定位精度更是差的离谱，通过 AR 技术结合 LBS 推送商铺信息，则需要很准确的定位能力才能得以实现，较为模糊的位置信息，给用户带来的是糟糕的用户体验。试想一下，开启一个 AR 应用查找商铺信息，由于不准确的定位信息可能会将你引到一条陌生的道路上，这时候悲剧的还是用户自己。能否得以有效解决这个矛盾，是 AR 应用能否被人们快速接受的关键。
AR 技术很炫，但在手机上如何将“炫”变为“钱”？现场的公司都未给出明确的答复。日本的 DIGITALCOM 公司通过 AR 技术给行业客户定制产品赚取利润，比如博物馆导览产品、汽车定位服务产品、学校阅读产品等。目前手机终端上，各大厂家依然在探索阶段，初期布局圈地，先拿到用户，再谈盈利模式。
信息时代不断改变的是人类获取信息的方式，AR 技术已向人们证实了它无与伦比的信息展示魅力，它可能是未来的用户界面。“The future of AR is bright！”，你，同意吗？
33 Awesome Augmented Reality Apps & Games for Android
Augmented Reality (AR) is going to be the future of most apps, all it takes is a decent processor, a camera, a compass and a GPS — all of which are becoming increasingly common on smart phones.
This futuristic AR world for
android is is slowly growing. Though, the true experience of Augmented Reality Technology is yet to be seen, some apps and games which are available for Android can give you a glimpse of it. I’m featuring
36 of them here:
(I’ve added QR Codes as well so its easy for you to download them. Use your phone’s camera on the codes with a QR App and it’ll take you directly to the Market.)
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Interactive Information and Travel
1. Wikitude World Browser
World Browser is an augmented reality browser based on location-based Wikipedia and Qype content. You can search from 350,000 world-wide points of interest by GPS or by address and displayed in a list view, map view and “Augmented Reality” cam view, very handy for planning a trip or to find out about landmarks in your surroundings.
Watch this video to get an idea how it works.
Download: Wikitude World Browser
2. Layar Reality Browser
One of the first and best of it’s kind in the world, Layar App is a beautiful, fun augmented reality Browser app that displays real time digital information on top of the real world as seen through the camera of your mobile phone based on your location.
Watch this video to see it in action.
Download: Layar Reality Browser
3. Satellite AR
Another amazing apps, Satellite AR shows what’s floating in the space. Point your phone at the sky and see actual satellites flying overhead in an Augmented Reality view. Various satellites will appear as small icons. Those in sunlight are colored yellow to help you look for them on a clear night.
Download: Satellite AR
Also check out SightSpaceStation AR, it can track International Space Station, Shuttles etc. in the space. It has a $4.21 price tag.
4. Weather Reality
Weather Reality allows you to explore the weather around you in an AR view through the camera. You can check current conditions, real-time radar and severe weather alerts. Plus track the path of the sun and moon. You can even share geo-tagged weather pictures on social networking sites.
Download: Weather Reality ($1.99)
5. Star Chart
An awesome astronomy app, Star Chart locates Stars and Planets and constellations in the Sky by pointing your device towards it. It calculates – in real time – the current location of every star and planet visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are in an augmented reality view.
Download: Star Chart ($3.21)
6. Google Sky Map
Very similar to Star Chart, Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window on the night sky. Point your phone at the sky, and Google Sky Map will show the stars, planets, constellations, and more to help you identify the celestial objects in view.
Download: Google Sky Map
Mixare is an AR browser which, similar to layar, it also shows relevant information for your surroundings like any building etc. But not just from Wikipedia. It also shows twitter and Google buzz entries around you. Moreover, it also allows other apps or websites to use its engine and display any kind of content.
Watch this video to see how it works.
Tagwhat is a friends location browser that lets members explore the world and interact with friends in an augmented reality world. With on-line map and mobile AR, everyone enjoys their own personalized global canvas. Set up your account, connect to and invite friends from Facebook and Twitter. The best part is that Foursquare is included as well.
9. Sekai Camera
Sekai Camera is a social AR application that offers users to interact in social communication through digital contents attached to the real world. You can post digital annotations called “Air Tags” which float in the real world. Communicate, navigate, advertise, and simply have fun!
Watch this video to see the app in action
Download: Sekai Camera
10. vouchAR – Vouchers via AR
VouchAR finds discounts in Local Stores using AR technology. As it claims, with over 40,000 vouchers on our system you can find local discounts on Dining Out, Hotels, Bars, Event Tickets, Fashion & Beauty. It works best if you’re in a big city. Also, it shows daily deals from Groupon.
11. Fast Food Reality
Fast Food Reality eases your work for finding nearby Fast Food Restaurants like Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Pans and Company etc. in an Augmented Reality view, ofcourse, using your camera.
Download: Fast Food Reality
12. Photos Around
Photos Around displays popular photos fromPanoramio near your current location in an AR view. Point your camera towards a location and see different photos floating around you taken by other people. Tap on the photo for details. Tap again to open its web page.
Panoramio is the same service that Google has integrated in G Earth/Maps to display photos nearby you.
Download: Photos Around
Lookator is an amazing, must have, application. It is an Augmented Reality app for finding better WiFi signals. Open it, hold up your phone and you’ll see hotspots around you with their relative strength and direction. Enable GPS and download Wefi to get hotspots out of range too. (It may not show hotspots accurately every time)
14. Google Goggles
It is an app which enables you to search the real world by taking a picture, for e.g., books, QR Code, famous landmarks, artwork, popular images etc. It can even translate words in English, French, Italian, German & Spanish and can extract contact information from business cards.
It even solves Sudoku!
Download: Google Goggles
GPS and Transportation
15. Car Finder AR
A Car finder app which uses Augmented Reality and RADAR to help you reach your car where you parked it with the ability to manage upto 3 cars. It shows you walking/driving directions with other features such as Shake to save, Parking timer, Location History and it doesn’t eat up your battery like hell.
|Demo||Full Version ($3.04)||Bluetooth Plugin|
16. Wikitude Drive
Wikitude Drive is an Android navigation app that make use of the AR technology to overlay video being captured through your phone’s camera with driving instructions. This allows users to literally drive through their phone, watching the road even while they are looking at directions.
Download: Wikitude Drive (Only Austria, Germany and Switzerland are supported ATM)
PhantomALERT is a good GPS app that is, as it claims, powered by the world’s largest driver generated and verified database of speed traps, traffic lights, speed cameras etc. You can set up Traffic camera views to get an idea of the traffic ahead and an Augmented Reality View – move your phone around you to see the traffic camera views around you.
(Traffic Cameras are supported for most of the cities across the US and in Canada, Ottawa/Toronto and Vancouver are supported)
18. 3D AR Compass
This app is an augmented reality 3D compass which comes with Multi-compass types, Auto rotate map facility, Heading and degrees, Current address, Fast bright with one tap and much more
19. Dashboard Assist
It is a AR in-car dashboard with logging capabilities. You can use it as an additional dashboard display or journey logger. While the free version includes information such as Speedometer, G-forces, Journey duration, Distance covered, Acceleration, cornering statistics and background mode etc., Pro version adds Hands-free, auto-answering of call (with contact filters), spoken announcement of incoming messages/calls etc.
|Free Version||Paid Full Version|
Social and Lifestyle
Friends Radar is a GTalk Client with an AR twist. It shows your friends on a Map or in Augmented Reality View on top of your camera, if your friends allow you to track them.
You can chat with them, send emails, call etc.
See who’s twittering around you and tweet back! Tweeps Around is an application that displays nearby Twitter Users in full Augmented Reality around you. This app requires Layar pre-installed in your mobile, you can find it in the Interactive Information and Travel Apps category of this list. The only thing in this app which you may not like is its minimum radius restriction. Rest is good.
Fun and Games
22. Parallel Kingdom
Parallel Kingdom is the first and most popular MMORPG that uses Augmented Reality engine and your actual GPS (or WiFi) location to place your character on a map filled with monsters, mythical beasts, treasure, and other real players. You can explore, collect items, claim cities, chat with other players etc.
It is a cross-platform game so this means you can compete with iPhone gamers too.
Download: Parallel Kingdom AOT
23. Zombies, Run!
Zombies, Run is a trans-reality game for the Android platform that pits you against a world full of zombies in a race for your life.
You need to choose the Zombie Count which will determine how many zombies populate the area around you while speed let’s you decide to compete with different breed of zombies. After you’re done with these options, let the game find your location and then choose your endpoint for your journey.
Once you do that, the game begins and it’s your job to get to your endpoint without running into any of those red dots which are zombies. This game may sound ugly but its worth playing.
Download: Zombies, Run
24. Sky Siege
Sky Siege is among the most addictive AR game for Android. It transforms your physical environment into a deadly battlefield. Your Phone becomes a true Virtual Reality display – it is a window into a 3D virtual world full of hostile helicopter gunships and jet bombers coming at you from all angles in 32 levels of increasingly difficult numbers and tactical formations. You are alone on a flak tower armed with an Ack-Ack gun, Rockets, and a limited supply of guided missiles.
Download: Sky Siege ($2.34)
SpecTrek is another awesome augmented reality ghost hunting game. You have to Walk or run around using GPS and your phone’s camera to find and catch virtual ghosts. The game offers statistics, awards, titles, records, and most of all a whole lot of fun!
|Free Version||Paid Full Version|
iSnipeYou is an AR Shooting game. You have to use your camera to shoot targets. Features include Multiple reticle styles, dynamic blood splats, accelerometer based aim drift, face detection for scoring. You can also share your shots via email, Flickr, Facebook etc.
|Free Version (With Ads)||Paid Version ($0.99)|
27. AndAR Model Viewer
AndAR Model Viewer displays 3D models on Augmented Reality markers. Nothing much to boast about this app but you’ll have fun for some time. Models include Superman, Chair, Plants etc on an AR marker that you need to draw out.
Download: AndAR Model Viewer
Kaleidocam is an fun little Augmented Reality Kaleidoscope application. You point your camera around you and then you can create some cool effects and amazing patterns with it.
29. KIA Optima AR
It is a 3D animation browser, something similar to AndAR app. Using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, it triggers the 3D animation of the all new Optima from the KIA logo.
Experience it’s key features as you’re able to interactively view it in 3D (on screen using your camera) from any angle.
Download: KIA Optima AR
30. AR Shooting
It is a shooting application in an AR environment. Use your camera and start shooting. You can use a 7 types of guns including handguns, shotguns etc which can be semi-auto, fully auto.
It’s a nice, fun game.
Download: AR Shooting
DroidShooting is another fun little AR Shooting game. There are some weapons included using which you can fire on your target, by pointing your camera.
Also check out ConqAR. Thanks to Fred van for suggesting this!
Concept AR Games
ARhrrrr provides your phone a window into a 3D town overrun with zombies. Point the camera at our special game map to mix virtual and real world content. Civilians are trapped in the town, and must escape before the zombies eat them! From your vantage point in a helicopter overhead, you must shoot the zombies to clear the path for the civilians to get out.
33. Rock’Em Sock’Em
Another Stunning AR game, Rock’Em Sock’Em is game by Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio, established at Georgia Tech University. It mixes both real-world and rendered visuals to create a unique gaming experience. Players will have to point their phones at a printed arena map and the robot characters are displayed in full 3D.
Thanks to a fellow redditor, Dan Treble, for some more suggestions which I had missed:-
Paparazzi is the game which bagged the 1st prize of Qualcomm’s Augmented Reality Dev Challenge ‘10. It’s an interactive game where the player becomes a virtual paparazzo and sneaks pictures of a vain celebrity before he gets agitated and attacks your camera.
Unlike other AR games, in Paparazzi, the Augmented Reality world will still continue even if you turn your camera away from the marker as in AndAR, andAR pong etc.
Update: Paparazzi is out, Get it now! -Paparazzi on Android Market
35. Inch High Stunt Guy
The second place winner in Qualcomm AR challenge, Inch High Stunt Guy is a tale of a small stunt-man. The player arranges various obstacles to enable a stuntman to successfully jump his motorcycle through a hoop and move on to the next level.
Racing across your desktop in a series of crazed challenges, risking life and limb, smashing through hoops and exploding into your affections! Move the obstacles and try to successfully guide him to a crowd pleasing finale – or maliciously crash him repeatedly into tanks filled with sharks if you’re that type of person.
Now, the third place winner: Danger Copter is a gaming adventure where the player becomes a pilot for a rescue helicopter and maneuvers the water-spouting chopper between skyscrapers to extinguish fires and rescue people from danger.
Watch the video to see it in action.
I’m not a master of Android so I may not be knowing about every AR app/game. If you think something’s missing from this list, do tell me about it by leaving a comment below.
P.S.:- I keep posting stuff like this and you can Subscribe to our feeds for regular email alerts so that you don’t miss anything.