The best AR apps for smartglasses and wearables (so far)

It's early days for augmented reality applications
The best AR apps so far

Augmented reality (and mixed reality) have an exciting future ahead with Magic Leap and HoloLens wowing us with amazing AR demos ahead of their official releases. It's still early days 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.

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 later in the year.

Mobile AR apps - wearable features

Pokémon Go

An augmented reality app that requires a wrist-based wearable, this is a game for iOS and Android, inspired by the mobile AR game Ingress and due out at the end of July. You can buy the Pokémon Go Plus wearable to play it - the physical Pokéball band notifies you with vibrations and lights when a creature is in the vicinity as you roam the streets looking for them.

Moon Landing

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's shipping to developers in Q3 of 2016. Our US editor Lily got some hands on time with the device recently and reports that Meta 2 apps will include AR versions of Spotify, Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.

Existing demos, which she was able to try, include features like pulling a 3D shoe out of an Amazon webpage.

Read this: 8 awesome AR demos and experiences to look forward to

AR apps and games for HoloLens

Microsoft is building what will probably be the biggest augmented reality platform for the next few years - HoloLens is with developers now and should get a proper release at the end of 2016 or in early 2017.

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.

AR apps and games for Magic Leap

We still don't know what Magic Leap will even look like but we've got a good idea of the first confirmed apps and games we'll see for the AR platform. 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. Read our in-depth guide to Magic Leap to find out more about the demos so far and rumoured future apps.

What AR apps have you used and what do you want to see?

1 Comment

  • MichelTurk says:

    1. There’s this awesome app called GrabPoints. In a nutshell they pay you for trying out new apps and answering a couple of surveys. I love using it because they are always active on social media giving out points and the rewards are always fair. Like just for signing up you already get $1 then if you use a friend’s invite code you get 500 PTS and easy AND your friend gets points in return too! See even simply inviting people earns you money. If you ever happen to try GRABPOINTS please use my invite code: S6FMAC Hope this helps!

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