Can't wait till Apple's ARKit is released? Me neither. Luckily, a fun new app launched today that is close to what the ARKit promises to deliver in a few months.
The app was launched by holographic tech startup 8i and it's called 'Holo'. It was launched on iOS and Google Play at this year's VidCon.
Holo allows you to project characters and animals into the real world. Once you download the app, bubbles appear at the bottom of your camera screen which lets you pick and choose which character you'd like projected into your world. Options include visits from Spider-Man, Debby Ryan, a zombie, and of course, Donald Trump (a look-alike called Ronald Stump to be exact — but you get the gist).
Once you've entered the characters into your world, you're able to move them around and position them where you'd like. You're also able to change the sizes of the characters as well as their rotation. All of the characters move in some looped way but you're also able to pause them. This helps their photo and video feature which allows you to capture the image wherever you are.
Media companies like Sony Pictures, Cosmopolitan, and go90 are already partnering with this new app. It's no wonder that Sony didn't want to wait for the ARKit. They're using the Holo app's features to promote their new movie 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' which is released this July, far before the ARKit's release.
This app is similar enough to what we'll see with the ARKit, with a few notable exceptions. For example, the app doesn't recognize surfaces and it doesn't seem to have good mapping in it, so turning your phone away from where the image originally was will result in the image going away. It's also different in that it doesn't know what objects are around it that might block it, so the images often move through objects.
Still, I can confirm it's a lot of fun to use. And positioning a dancing fake Donald Trump next to my water bottle in such a way that made him look realistic, but small was very satisfying.
Screenshots by Juliet Gallagher/Next Reality