The Alternative Realities of Our Time

augmented reality gaining traction

If any new technology managed to go from science-fiction dream to everyday life, that technology must be augmented reality. Building upon the real and adding digital information is what augmented reality is all about. Put simply, what augmented reality software does is to achieve a unique sense of immersion where the user is provided with data and context to the live, real-world environment he is capturing with his device’s webcam.

And while the idea itself is exquisite, application designers have gone beyond themselves to bring fabulous software to the public, building the augmented reality dream brick-by-brick.

One thing is clear. Augmented reality is the future and while the technology may still require some development, on-the-market augmented reality apps are just enough to give you a taste of the future today.

Without further ado, we bring you the most impressive and innovative of augmented reality apps:

Westpac AR Banking

augmented reality banking with westpac ar app

Managing your money isn’t always an easy task, especially since it’s more easily spent than put aside. Even in such delicate situations, augmented reality can lend a helping hand. Westpac’s new app, AR Banking, gives money management a new dimension.

The simple interface coupled with the 3D technology ensures a user-friendly experience where customers can simply set-up their account and use their device’s camera to scan a debit or credit card. By doing so, they can access different features.

The app tracks spending patterns, previous purchases done with the coupled card or account and easily view their balance and outstanding amounts.

Max Morrison

augmented reality graffiti with max morrison

In the past, graffiti was considered vandalism and even today, some can’t grasp what many consider to be an art form. Even so, augmented reality app designers decided to honor this practice by creating the first application which combines a social platform and augmented reality.

App users are given the opportunity of spraying virtual graffiti on real life walls, people or objects and then share their results. Users are also able to place the graffiti, experiment with different equipment, explore angles and include video footage of their work.

Photomath App

photomath app easy augmented reality math equations

Kids rarely enjoy doing their math homework and especially when it comes to equations, a parent’s task becomes difficult. Photo Math App hopes to aid struggling parents by providing augmented reality software which efficiently engages your kids.

Users simply download the app and take a picture of the equation that needs solving. Cleverly, the app is able to understand mathematical equations and figure out a step-by-step rundown of the solution. Real time results are provided so that your child never has to struggle again.

Currently restricted to middle school math levels (including arithmetic expressions, roots, powers, decimals, linear equations and functions), Photo Math will soon become even more comprehensive.

Health Education

dubai health authority

Creativity is an operative word when it comes to augmented reality technology. And health is not a field to be excluded. Normally, health authorities would use traditional brochures, however, augmented reality technology can provide an easy-to-remember experience and create long-lasting impressions.

Targeting an audience of all ages but especially the youth, the augmented reality app is being used by the Dubai Health Authority to improve the community’s health educations. After downloading the app, users simply turn on their cameras and select the DHA’s health brochures. Scanning the brochure’s first page brings up a plethora of interactive information, from early disease detection and prevention to treatment options.

Phantom Finder

phantom finder augmented reality

Commercial haunted attractions are the latest craze when it comes to entertainment so augmented reality technology designers decided to also tackle this field when developing their augmented reality Ghost Camera App. Available for Android and iOS, the application creatively recognizes imagery placed all across 20 states (called “Phantom markers”). When scanned by a mobile device’s camera, these markers suddenly display demons, phantoms and all sorts of supernatural activity.

However, Phantom Finder comes with an added bonus. Users can decide where ghosts should (or should not) be found. Causing ghosts to walk out of doorways, walk around corners, stand behind doors or glare through mirrors should be enough to make for an interesting evening.

Lufthansa AR App

lufthansa augmented reality app

Air travel isn’t always pleasant and it’s precisely because of this that Lufthansa decided to incorporate augmented reality into the entire experience. There is no need for brand markers to activate the app. After downloading the application on a mobile device, a user only needs to grab a pen and paper and draw a “flying object”. Any type of doodle is enough with a bit of contrast.

Scanning the drawing will cause an augmented reality Premium Economy come alive on the device’s screen. Users can rotate the seats and understand what the legroom difference is between economy and “50 percent additional legroom” options by filling the space up with virtual objects.

Augmented Car Finder

augmented reality car finderHave you ever driven to the mall only to forget where you parked your car? If yes, augmented reality apps can be a solution for your problem. The Augmented Car Finder is an app that uses AR technology to show users where they parked their cars.

Granted, some quirks need to be worked out of the software, however, it’s enough to at least get in close proximity of your vehicle.

Holiday-Themed Augmented Reality Apps

create your own easter hunt with augmented reality apps

Since Easter is just around the corner, it was only befitting of such cutting-edge technology to also address the holiday season. Easter Hunt belongs to Gamar’s most recent applications and represents an ideal holiday game.

It allows children to have an augmented reality Easter hunt by searching for virtual eggs hidden in real-life locations. Basically, the location technology incorporated in today’s smartphones and tablets make it possible to create virtual trails in real-life environments and leave clues which eventually lead to eggs.

Other holidays are just as important. Adelaide, for instance, celebrated Christmas with the “Christmas in the City” augmented reality app. With the help of well-known animation and visual effects studio, Resin, Adelaide residents were filled with a somewhat un-traditional Christmas feeling. By scanning the markers scattered all over the city, residents could see countless Santa animations, his reindeers while also competing for prizes.

The Rockwell Adventures and Zappar

story books enhanced by augmented reality technology

Story time is a particularly intimate moment between parents and their children. It’s when the imagination is left to roam free, triggered by the events portrayed in the book. Yet how would it be if the characters in the books you read to your children suddenly came to life?

Augmented reality technology has allowed The Rockwell Adventures to become interactive. For young readers, concepts such as Space Stations, Apollo Missions, the moon, Space elevators and even moon bases are already interesting. But when augmented reality comes into play (with the use of Zappar), the experience becomes surreal. Pointing Zappar at images in the book makes it possible for readers to interact with the 3D content, for instance visualizing the components of elevators in detail and from specific angles.


augmented reality with pixby app

Pixbi is an augmented reality app focused on advertising. Curious shoppers not keen on experiencing the busy feel of a shopping mall can save time and energy by using image recognition technology and augmented reality. After downloading the app, magazine readers can scan desired product tags and view details not provided in the magazine.

Color Alive by Crayola

crayola color alive augmented reality app

If story books can come to life, why shouldn’t coloring books as well? In all fairness, coloring books can sometimes become a bit boring especially since our children are exposed to a multitude of distractions: tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles. But the skills that our children develop while using coloring books are important: staying within lines, developing hand-eye coordination, color-matching, these are all important.

Crayola wanted to bring coloring to a whole new level and enhanced its coloring books with augmented reality. After coloring specific pages, children can scan their work with “Color Alive!” to watch them come alive. Color recognition ensures that the exact color your child used on his drawing will come to life on the device’s screen. Additional effects such as ice blasts, fairy dust or fire are also included for a bit of extra spunk.


augmented reality viewer augment

Using augmented reality technology in sales and marketing isn’t something new, yet Augment does it marvelously. Combining design visualization with cutting-edge graphics, Augment allows marketers and designers to associate custom tracker images with 3D models uploaded to the platform.

These models can be visualized in physical space with the app. From product packaging to appearance demos, furniture location, interactive display creation and toys, users are able to integrate the desired 3D models in real time.


layar augmented reality application

Where interactive print is concerned, Layar is a world-class app which allows its users to experience real-life environments with digital content overlays. The content comes from a plethora of sources (while the app has specific databases it draws its information from, posters, magazines, ads or QR codes are still excellent information sources).

Starting here, users can navigate to extra content: trailers, discount codes, videos, guides, websites, posters and many more. And with Geo layering, the app also allows its users to discover nearby points of interests.

The list is endless and depending on your specific need, be sure that an augmented reality app is already on the market to come to your rescue. It’s only up to you to find it.

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