Category Archives: Uncategorized

6 augmented reality apps that aren’t Pokemon GO

From Stuff

In a very short time, Pokemon GO has pushed augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream.

Its ability to overlay digital animations onto the real world using your phone’s camera and screen is unlike any other popular game before it. But Pokemon GO isn’t the only app that seamlessly blends virtual objects into the real world. Here are the best AR apps not linked with Nintendo.

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Interactive inspiration: Jonathan Harris

jason ohara

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.26.50 pmJonathan Harris is an artist and computer scientist from Vermont.

I find his work very interesting but he regularly falls into the trap of the interface overpowering the content – something I specifically want to avoid. An example is the whale hunt interactive which is extremely clever but I prefer the highlights page from the same interactive

His work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, and has been exhibited at Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), the CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), the Barbican Center (London), the Victora and Albert Museum (London), and The Pace Gallery (New York). He studied computer science at Princeton University and spent a year in Italy at Fabrica. The winner of three Webby Awards, Print Magazine named him a “New Visual Artist,” and the World Economic Forum named him a “Young Global Leader.” His TED talks have been viewed millions of times.

His website:

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Wayfindr smartphone app for the blind

Another example from the 2016 Interaction awards. This shows design research in action including the use of empathy tools.

Project Description

Wayfindr is the first open standard for audio-based navigation

There are an estimated 285 million vision impaired people worldwide. Sadly, the consequences of sight loss are often poverty, isolation and depression. Of the estimated two million people living with sight loss in the UK, almost half say they would like to leave their home more often.

Overcoming these challenges starts with enabling independent travel, which catalyses both individual and societal change.

The ‘what if’ moment

What if vision impaired people were empowered to navigate independently using the smart phone they already have in their pocket? This was the challenge posed by Royal London Society for Blind People’s (RLSB) Youth Forum to ustwo in 2014.

With limited or no vision, navigating an unfamiliar environment means you are wholly reliant on auditory cues or a sighted guide for directions. Emerging technologies such as smartphones and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons point to a future of independent navigation for blind people. There is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss.

Built into the Wayfindr standard is a determination to create social, economic and personal value for users. During our trials we have seen an increase in the confidence of our participants. Every time a vision impaired person independently reaches their desired destination using Wayfindr it changes their perceptions of their own abilities. We believe that as the adoption of the Wayfindr standard increases, this impact will propagate across the globe.

How we got there

In March 2014 we secured a trial at Pimlico station in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). We installed Bluetooth LE Beacons across the station, and developed a basic prototype app which guided you around the station. At this point we were intending to build an app called ‘Wayfindr’ but we soon realised this was not the way to achieve our impact. We are now setting the standard for audio based wayfinding, ensuring that wherever blind and partially sighted people go, and whatever app they use, they have a consistent and reliable experience.

Wayfindr is now set up as a joint venture between ustwo and RLSB, and has recently received $1m of funding through as part of their Global Impact Challenge: Disabilities. In December 2015 we trialled the Wayfindr standard at London Euston in partnership with TfL. In this trial users could select from over 80 routes in the station, from exit to platform, between platforms etc.

The first version of the Wayfindr standard is due in Spring 2016. It will enable built environment owners, digital navigation services, and other stakeholders to adopt the standard and ensure their products and services are accessible to vision impaired people.

For more info visit

Ma’agalim – Jane Bordeaux

A bloody stunning bit of CGI animation … I must admit to being it’s not real animatronics though.

Immerse yourself in this lovely new music video for folk country trio Jane Bordeaux’s ‘Ma’agalim.’ The animated short transports us inside a device inspired by components from an old penny arcade device that contains a perpetually moving landscape where people go about their daily lives. The attention to detail in color and texture of every frame is breathtaking, but isn’t surprising given director Uri Lotan‘s previous work at Pixar and Disney.