Newly released AR apps not only entertain but organize, sell and maybe even save lives!

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Augmented Reality Apps

Augmented reality (AR) applications are starting to be created for use as productivity tools. Most of the AR apps that have been marketed have been games or novelties to entertain the users. Now, a leading technology magazine is showcasing some of the more productive aspects of AR.

A few researchers from Miami University have developed ShelvAR, an augmented reality app that can scan a library bookshelf and automatically show which books are misfiled. The app quickly analyzes the call numbers and shows which way the book needs to be moved to be correctly filed.

This will help save time and money; and with a little development, can assist students in finding lost books and show rating stars for recommended books. Barring any unforeseen holdups, the beta version of ShelvAR will be available by early next year.

The Swedish mobile software firm called The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), has boosted augmented reality to the next obvious step. The application called Augmented Identity, combines facial recognition technology, augmented reality, computer vision and cloud computing.

By pointing your mobile device camera at someone, the software creates a 3D model of the persons face and sends it out across a server. All the systems work together to obtain the person’s identity, and also lets you know what social networks the person belongs to.

The saving grace for this program is that a person has to opt-in to the service, upload a picture of their self and fill out a profile before the program can find and identify them. This program works with the iPhone and newer Android operating systems.

Astronauts for the International Space Station (ISS) are even getting in on the augmented fun. The European Space Agency (ESA) has created Wearable Augmented Reality (WEAR). This headset will overlay names, functions and even give directions, for all the dials, switches and buttons they have to keep track of.

It has already made it to the ISS and helped assist an astronaut in changing an air filter. It worked so well, that the ESA is now working on a model for civilian fire fighters.

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