Immersive Tech Briefing: Get a pizza the action with AR
In a recent extremely professional poll of the BusinessCloud team’s favourite food, lasagne came out as a clear favourite, with pizza missing out on the top spot by a slice.
However, if we’d known about the new Snapchat-Domino’s collaboration, maybe it would’ve come first.
The shoppable AR lens shows users a floating pizza box, which opens to reveal a glorious golden wheel of deliciousness inside, and then lets them place an order at the tap of a button without leaving the app.
I don't know about anyone else but I would be clicking the 'buy now' button faster than you can say 'ham and pineapple'.
Anyone wanting the AR experience for their own business should head directly to the Snapchat sales team and be prepared to fork out an advertisers' fee of around $500,000.
In return, they get access to support from the Snapchat building and publishing team and a reach of around 15 to 20 million users.
Could be a tasty deal for the right team.
The beating heart of AR
You might want to put your pizza down before looking at this story, as one of our ’35 under 35’ has been busy redefining the term ‘graphic t-shirt’.
Ed Barton’s company Curiscope is responsible for Virtuali-Tee – a shirt that lets you see an AR version of your insides when you hold your smartphone up to it.
→ READ MORE: 35 Tech Entrepreneurs Under 35
Its origin story saw it gain traction through a Kickstarter campaign but it recently added a heart rate tracker update that lets users watch an AR heart in their t-shirt beating at the same rate as their own.
Popping a finger over the phone’s camera lets it measure the amount of light going through and from that the app can work out the pulse.
Mostly it’s just a pretty fun idea, but it’s actually being touted as a useful educational tool to show children how exercise can change their heart rate.
Worming its way onto our screens
When I was a teenager I spent more hours than is socially acceptable playing Snake on my Nokia.
While I’ve got a million other games on my current smartphone, something still really appeals to me about the godfather of time-sink phone games – and it looks like I’m not the only one, as there are over 300 Snake-esque games for iOS alone.
Luckily - or unluckily, depending on how you view being a productive member of society - Snake has had a makeover for a new generation which will see it slither onto our screens in AR.
Current Nokia-maker HMD Global has developed two versions for Facebook, both of which overlay the game into the real world for users to play.
First, there's Snake Mask, which turns users’ heads into a giant pixelated snake and lets them play as the hungry, hungry hero of the game, chomping on the AR apples flying at their snakey little faces.
The second is called Snake Real World, which lets users overlay the game onto a surface IRL to chase down apples ‘in the wild’.
Augmenting your Christmas card experience
It turns out that while print may (allegedly) be dead, the expectation that I send approx. 4,000 greeting cards every year is still alive and well. From extended family birthdays to weddings to Christmas, I feel like I’m single-handedly keeping Clintons in business.
But, if I’m going to keep doing it, I’d at least like to do it in style.
Chrissy Eckman, a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the U.S, has created Kineticards which use augmented reality to bring greetings cards to life.
For about $6 users get a hand-drawn card that animates when you point the Kineticards app at it - which is the only downside really as a lot of people won't like the idea of downloading an app to watch one card come to life.
Still, it's a cute idea and senders can even personalise the inside and the envelope, like Moonpig, but it’s written in calligraphy for extra brownie points.
Shattering communication barriers with Google Glass
Google Glass may not have hit the mainstream like the company hoped but it is having a surprising revival in the Tech for Good world, helping kids with autism.
The developmental disorder makes it harder for people to communicate with others, so researchers developed a type of therapy involving the Glass that uses facial recognition software to tell the wearer which emotions people are showing.
Published in the journal npj Digital Medicine, the idea is that if the wearers get a good grasp of what different emotions look like when they’re young, they’ll find it easier to navigate the tricky world of society as they grow.
Trials showed that the children did actually show better social skills after using the Glass, with one mum saying the change was ‘remarkable’.
It’s not clear yet how important the Glass itself to the process, but it could definitely be an interesting alternative or addition to therapy in the future.