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Google’s ARCore is finally available to all — if you have a compatible device, of course. But for those with the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, Google Pixel or OnePlus 5 (among other devices), it means you can check out the firm’s improved take on augmented reality.
But where do you start though? We’ve got four interesting ARCore apps to play with.
Ancient history seems like a good match for augmented reality, bringing dusty relics and important artifacts to life in a way few platforms can match.
So we’re glad to see the BBC release the Civilisations app, being a rather polished, content-rich AR experience. Viewers can place a variety of important relics on the floor around them, walk up close for a better view and get audio information by finding the relevant icon on the object in AR.
The Civilisations app features content from ancient Egypt, Greece, the Renaissance and more. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets used in classrooms.
It’s not the most comprehensive augmented reality showcase, but military buffs will want to have a look at Wargaming’s app anyway.
The World of Tanks AR Experience has you drop a tank on the ground, which marks the start of a virtual skirmish, including a Stuka dive-bomber. You also get a few audio notes regarding historic battles.
The biggest disadvantage is that you need plenty of floor space, owing to the size of the tank models. But I also wish there were more scenarios or even the ability to create your own one.
A paid app (R28), Insight Heart lets users view a detailed model of the heart, offering “highly detailed 4K textures” for one.
The app also offers visualisations of various diseases and conditions (heart attack, hypertension etc), as well as annotations for various bits of the organ.
The SketchFab platform plays host to hundreds of thousands of 3D models — viewable in augmented reality or virtual reality. So if you only want to look at cool stuff in AR, this should be your first stop.
The sheer variety of models on offer means that you’ll always have something new to look at, ranging from weapons and fantastical characters to cool bits of art. The only real criticism is that it seems to make the phone sweat a little. And yes, it isn’t meant to be educational, but the ability for artists to hide audio annotations in the model would be lovely too.