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Ultimate Guide To iPhone Augmented Reality Part I

Submitted by on Tuesday, 26 January 201010 Comments
All the apps from the appstore

All the apps from the appstore

The number of augmented reality applications for the iPhone has grown significantly since I started this blog. The guys over at TechCrunchies say that in 2009 there were over 1 million augmented reality applications downloaded. By 2014 that figure is expected to rise to a staggering 400 million. 30% of that is expected to be generated by downloads of augmented reality games. Check out the TechCrunchies website for more interesting data.

With those numbers now is a good time to be thinking about releasing an augmented reality application, but what’s out there in the appstore already? Searching the appstore for ‘augmented reality’ used to produce a single page of results, these days there are hundreds of apps all fighting for your attention and hard earned pennies. We thought we would take a look and see what applications are available. Welcome to part one of the ultimate guide to iPhone augmented reality applications.

We ignored the official appstore categories, some developers listed their applications in the strangest categories in an attempt to find consumers. To make it more of a level playing field we have done a bit of rejigging.

There are quite a few apps that call themselves augmented reality educational apps, but when you dig deeper some are little more than utilities. For example there is an app that tells you what is on the opposite side of the planet from your current location. Interesting yes, educational no.

After arranging the categories somewhat we found very few ‘real’ educational augmented reality applications.

Pocket Universe
Star Chart

Both applications are astronomy applications that show the constellations and locations of the planets, both cost $2.99.  My personal favourite here is Pocket Universe. Pocket Universe has a cool feature that uses augmented reality and the compass to help you find your target. If you’re interested in finding Jupiter and you need help, just select the relevant option and you’ll be guided to the target by arrows. It works well for bright objects but for objects that are either really dim or where you’ll need a telescope it’s not very useful as it can be a few feet off.

Pocket Universe - Augmented Reality Star Finder

Learn about the cosmos with augmented reality star finders

I always wanted an application to see where the satellites are, not for any particular reason just out of curiosity. If you install satellites for a living then you have a few apps available but they are expensive (as much as $19.99). Given the accuracy of Pocket Universe and its ability to pinpoint an object I’m not sure that I would rely on an application to complete an installation. They will help point you in the right direction but you’ll still need a sat bleeper to complete the install and tweak the signal.

DishPointer AR Pro
Satellite Augmented Reality
Satellite Sliderule Pro

Find a satellite
Find a satellite

If you have problems remembering where you left your car then there are a couple of apps that can help you.
iParking find my car  (free)
Car Finder
iFindit AR
icar Augmented reality

Dude Where's My Car?

Dude Where's My Car?

It’s worth pointing out that the acrossair augmented reality browser has the ability to locate your car as well.

A couple of misc utilities:

If you’re stuck without a tape measure then AugMeasure will give you a virtual measure. It’s free so good for estimates but don’t go out and by new carpet based on it’s measurements.

Color i
Interesting application that will give you the hex/rgb color value of objects you point the camera at.

It's Orange but what shade?

It's Orange but what shade?

C2 YouTube
GeoTag your YouTube videos

Someone will need to educate me on augmented music, I’m not convinced. Light Squares puts squares you can press into the real world view, and that’s about it.

Kids on DSP
Little Boots
Light Squares

That’s it for part one, still plenty of more apps to come.

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