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6 augmented reality apps at your fingertips

6 augmented reality apps at your fingertipsAugmented reality glasses are getting a lot of buzz lately; however, there really aren’t any of these glasses that have made it past prototype phase yet. But did you know you can get your hands on some pretty awesome augmented reality technology already? There are actually several apps available for iPhone, iPad and Android that bring augmented reality to your smart device. Here are 6 we thought were pretty neat:

1. Star Chart

Most people can pick out the Bid Dipper in the sky, but what about all the other constellations? Star Chart maps the constellations and names the stars that appear on your smartphone screen when you hold it up to the sky. It also tells you the distance and the brightness of the stars (in case you want to know). For iPhone & iPad ($3) There is a similar app for Android called Sky Map too.

2. Spot crime

Ever driven through a sketchy area and wished you could confirm your suspicions? The Spot Crime app displays color coded icons to represent the number and types of crimes that were committed in your immediate vicinity. This app is most probably most useful for house hunters or parents taking their kids trick-or-treating, but it offers a comprehensive database and crime-area scanning system. iPhone ($3)

3. Wikitude World Browser

In a new city and don’t know where to stay or eat? This app displays augmented content about your surroundings by holding up your phone and scanning the area. You can get details such as reviews, hours of operation, and special offers at locations near you. Android Free

4. ARSoccer

Who says AR has to be practical? How about a personal AR soccer ball to kick around? All you do is point your phone’s camera toward your feet and try to hit the augmented ball that appears on the screen with your feet. Sounds quite challenging and probably pretty hilarious to watch. iPhone ($2)

5. SnapShop Showroom

As a new homeowner, this is one that stood out to me. This AR app lets you try out different furniture in a room before you buy it. It includes a catalog of furniture from major retailers to select from. You hold the camera in live view in the room your furnishing, and it lets you resize and position images of the catalog furniture to see how it looks. For iPhone & iPad (Free)

6. iOnRoad Augmented Driving Lite

Sometimes we forget how much distance is really needed between our car and the car in front of us. The iOnRoad app uses a camera, GPS, and sensors to monitor the distance between yours and the one up ahead. It displays a green, yellow, or red warning to let you know when you are a safe distance away. It acts as a collision, drifting, and speed warning system. For Android (Free)

Have you tried out any of these augmented reality apps or others you’d recommend? Let us know your thoughts!