LifePrint makes your boring iPhone photos come to life

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Robert Macauley shows off LifePrint, his app for bringing all your pictures to life.
Robert Macauley shows off LifePrint, his printer and app for bringing your pictures to life.
Photo: Traci Dauphin/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — The idea for Robert Macauley’s “photographs for the new millennium” sprang from a camera that is totally 20th century.

“What if you could create a Polaroid experience for your phone?” Macauley said as he showed off a prototype of LifePrint, his pint-size printer that works with an augmented-reality app. LifePrint lets you print out Polaroid-size images that, when viewed through the app, can come to life on your smartphone screen.

2016 could be the year Apple goes crazy for VR

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VR may be happening soon,  and Apple might want to jump in.
VR may be happening soon, and Apple might want to jump in.
Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/Wikipedia CC

Apple might need to play catch-up in the coming year with Oculus, Samsung, and Sony already promoting their own brand of virtual reality (VR) headsets and technologies.

Virtual reality is the next big thing, and we’ll see a ton of it at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for sure, but one analyst has already jumped in with his predictions about Cupertino’s chances for another hit product in the VR space.

Real prints come to life with this app and printer

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Point your phone at a LifePrint print and watch the moment in motion.
Point your phone at a LifePrint print and watch the moment in motion.
Photo: LifePrint

The newspaper that covers the wizarding world of Harry Potter publishes photos that move on the page. For us Muggles, there’s LifePrint, a pocket-sized printer that brings a similar magical to our still photos.

The LifePrint device lets you embed a video inside a printed photograph, using augmented reality and requiring the viewer to point their smartphone at the picture to bring it to life.

Apple hires HoloLens engineer for its own AR project

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Apple is assembling an AR team to take on HoloLens.
Apple is assembling an AR team to take on HoloLens.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft’s new HoloLens project has shown the tech world where the future of augmented reality might lead, and according to a Wall Street analyst, Apple is making moves to catch up with its own AR product.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reports that Apple has poached Microsoft’s lead HoloLens audio engineer — and that there are other signs Cupertino is assembling an AR team.

Apple snatches up augmented reality company Metaio

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Apple is diving into AR.
Apple is diving into AR.
Photo: Metaio

Apple has finalized an acquisition for the augmented reality company Metaio in a move that could soon bring the German firm’s AR tech to iOS and other Apple devices.

Metaio, which specializes in creating augmented reality tools for other businesses as well as other computer vision solutions, mysteriously announced last night that it would stop selling its services, but filings with the German government reveal that the company has transferred all of its shares over to Apple.

Take a look at their incredible tech in action:

Audi Gets New Augmented-Reality App That Shows You Exactly Where To Add Oil

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One of the most hopeful promises of augmented reality is that it will eventually help us understand the world immediately around us. I’ve always thought one of the best uses of AR technology in this respect was its application to cars: Pan your phone or tablet across an engine bay, for instance, and an AR app will tell you where to put oil or coolant, or which bolts to remove in order to access the battery.

Audi brought us a little closer to this (augmented) reality today with the release of an AR companion app, using technology from German-based AR powerhouse Metaio, for its entry-level A3 that explains features in the cabin and engine bay.

Augmented Reality Car Manual Helps You With The Oil Change

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Back In The Day™, when men were men, cars were cars and boys were forced to work to support their families before their stupid brains were even half developed, we fixed automobiles by kicking their tires and sucking our teeth.

Fast forward to the Space Year 2013 and cars now repair themselves. All you have to do is take it to a repair shop, where they plug it into a computer which sucks the money from your bank account while you take a spin in a “courtesy” car.

But what if you want to tinker? If you own a Ford and an iPad, and don’t mind getting your hands (literally) dirty, then you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a (concept) app for that.

Smartphone App Turns Cigarettes Into Luxury Items To Help You Quit Smoking

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A new smartphone service launched today by the British Heart Foundation uses augmented reality to transform a packet of cigarettes into luxury items in an effort to help you quit smoking.

Using the Blippar app for Android and iOS, the service encourages you to “swap fags for swag” (“fag” is a British term for cigarette) by virtually transforming your cigarettes into other items you could afford if you didn’t spend your cash on smokes.