The best AR apps for smartglasses and wearables so far

It's early days for augmented reality applications
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Augmented reality has an exciting future ahead, with the likes of Meta, Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens showing off a number of AR demos to give the tech world a taste of what's in store.

It's still early days, of course, but we decided to take a look at the AR apps out there now that either use wearables in some way or are built from the ground up for smartglasses, AR visors and mixed reality goggles.

Read this: The best AR smartglasses

We won't be talking about apps purely for smartphones - that's for other sites. No doubt devs are cooking up many, many more AR apps for wearables, so we will revisit this list as the trend continues to unfold.

Mobile AR apps - wearable features

Pokémon Go

The best AR apps for smartglasses and wearables so far

Yes, the Pokemon Go hype may have died down since the intoxicating summer of 2016, but it still remains one of the few physical examples of mobile AR done right. Not only that, but it also incorporates its own wearable - the Pokémon Go Plus - that lights up and vibrates when a Pokémon is in the area.

Apple Watch users can take advantage of the companion app, meanwhile, making it a little easier to keep trac of where PokéStops are and how far left you have to travel with an egg before it hatches.

Moon Landing

The best AR apps for smartglasses and wearables so far

ISS astronauts use AR to help get their jobs done and you can use it to learn more about the history of the space race. Moon Landing is an iOS app that uses the Apple Watch to help demonstrate the Apollo Moon Landing of the Lunar Module. The Moon's surface is shown on the Watch and when you point your phone towards the wearable, you'll see the module touch down.

Read this: How VR and AR could turn you into a bona fide space explorer

AR apps for Meta 2

The $949 Meta 2 is a pair of AR smartglasses that allows hardcore fans and developers to build experiences through the popular Unity SDK. When we tried out the device last year, we discovered that the Meta 2 app list will include AR versions of Spotify, Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. Existing demos, which we were also able to try, include features like pulling a 3D shoe out of an Amazon webpage.

AR apps and games for Magic Leap

We still don't have a firm grip on when Magic Leap will launch, but we've got a good idea of the first confirmed apps and games we'll see for the AR platform. Given what the company has shown off so far, these would appear to fall into a few groups - productivity/education/everyday essentials and games.

So on the one hand, the videos show users opening up emails, buying shoes and brushing up on their mountain climbing history. And on the other, there's AR games that take over the office and CG animated jellyfish floating above the wearer's head.

The WETA Workshop is building a virtual world for Magic Leap called Dr. Grordborts and patents show applications including AR gigs beamed directly to your living room via the augmented reality goggles.

Productivity will come from Twilio, which will allow users to handle calls and text messages in AR and Lucasfilm/ILM has released a concept video for a Star Wars experience for Magic Leap too.

AR apps and games for HoloLens

The best AR apps for smartglasses and wearables so far

While Microsoft is still yet to give HoloLens a full release, the developer edition still shows it's one of the platforms that's furthest along the line.

We've listed the most exciting HoloLens apps and games to look forward to in a dedicated feature - the big ones so far are Skype for video calls and Minecraft for family-friendly gaming.


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