Augmented reality is a field which really has a lot of potential, and up until now, one can’t help but feel that only a fraction of that potential has been unleashed. There are a few apps, on both iOS and Android, which make good use of the concept, and Blippar is one of them. At first glance, you might feel that the app is all fun and games, but it does have some pretty useful features as well. You just have to scan an object/product recognizable by Blippar, and the augmented reality engine kicks in, overlaying the object’s image with an interactive layers of information or games.
Blippar’s product recognition is not universal by any means, but the list of recognized items is pretty extensive. You can scan objects ranging from edibles to cars, and items related to just about any other category you can think of. Using Blippar is simple, all you need to do is have a product catalogued in the app, and hold it in front of the app’s built-in scanner. You won’t have to capture the image, or assist the scanning process in any way, Blippar does all that for you. To start scanning an object, launch the app and tap the Blipp option in the middle of the bottom bar. Keep the device still for a while with the product in the middle of the viewfinder, and it will be recognized by the app automatically.
To view the items recognized by Blippar, just go to the Catalogue menu and you will find the recognized products in there, sorted by alphabet, genre and popularity. You can also search the catalogue for a particular item. Each item has a dedicated product page, which displays its photo, average ratings and comments made by Blippar users. The app also keeps a history of the items you scan within the My Blipps section.
So what exactly do you see when Blippar recognizes an object? Well, the outcome varies from product to product. For example, when we scanned a Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle (actually an online image of it), a recipe book appeared over the image of the product, while scanning the image of a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar produced a mini-game named Qwak Smack. You can share the results of your scan over Facebook and Twitter. Sharing and adding comments to an item requires you to sign in with a Facebook and/or Twitter account.
Although its cool to see the overlaid graphic follow the scanned object as you move your device, you might still not want to hold your device up for as long as you’re reading the displayed information or playing a game. Once an object has been detected, just hit the lock button present on the scan page and you can move your device all you want without having the image disappear.
The app is available for free on both the iTunes App Store and Android Market. Grab it from the link provided below.
Download Blippar (For iPhone & iPad)
Download Blippar (For Android)