Mind-Blowing Augmented Reality Videos

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ross-merrill - September 30, 2016

Augmented reality is coming. In fact, it may already be here, as the popularity of the Pokémon Go game has shown. AR will enhance not only gaming but shopping, travel, sports, and just about every aspect of life related to vision.

What will the future be like? These videos offer an exciting -- and sometimes chilling -- glimpse.

Microsoft HoloLens Demo

Microsoft's AR system is pretty impressive. You can access documents, play videos, and add decorative holograms to your surroundings. The video player appears to be 100 inches in real life, so host James Mackie wonders if we'll even need TVs in the future, since the AR version will be bigger and clearer.

Augmented Reality with Mobile Devices

AR doesn't require goggles of course. This demo video shows all the ways mobile devices can enhance the experience of looking at a map, or a toy, or a shirt, or even just walking down the street. Mini-movies and games come to life in the world around you, just by holding up your phone or tablet.

Night Terrors

Forget about catching Pokémons; this game turns your house into a horror movie. Night Terrors reveals ghosts and demons hiding in your home; you have to avoid them to win. The game is still in the funding stage and isn't fully finished, but playable demos have already been released. Looks terrifying.

Magic Mirror

Augmented reality is going to be all around you, even if you're not carrying a phone or wearing goggles. This "magic mirror" was set up in a Berlin mall, and put people into all kinds of scenes, including a dinosaur attack, an alien invasion, a jungle safari, and a rock concert. No points, no story; just a quick, fun experience for both kids and adults.

Google Translate

Games are fun, but there plenty of practical uses for AR as well. Google has been working on an app that instantly translates printed words into virtually any language, which can be crucially important for reading signs, menus, announcements, and warnings while traveling in a foreign country. This video shows augmented reality seem to actually change reality, as if by magic.

MINI Driving Glasses

Can't afford a car with a heads-up display? MINI, makers of the famous Cooper, has created glasses that integrate with their cars. You won't have to take your eyes off the road to check the speedometer or a map, since it will all be projected right there in front of you. Great for travel and for safety.


Could there be a dark side to any of this? Keiichi Matsuda's short film shows what could happen when everything in life becomes "gamified," with points and offers and discounts constantly flashing in your face. It's thrilling but also pretty scary.

What do you think about augmented reality? Know any cool apps or games? Augment this piece in the comments.

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