Amazing Augmented Reality apps (that aren’t Pokémon Go)

Photo: Getty Images

Since its release, Pokémon Go has pushed augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream. But did you know about the other impressive AR apps available? 

With the ability to overlay digital animations onto real life with our phone’s camera and screen, AR is changing not just how we play video games, but also how we view the world.

Check out these impressive AR apps for iOS and Android – and there’s not a Poké Ball in sight!

  • Ingress
  • Blippar
  • Google Translate
  • IKEA Catalogue
  • Ink Hunter


Niantic may have scored a hit with Pokémon Go, but the Californian developers first pioneered their augmented reality gameplay with Ingress, which has a number of similarities.

Ingress is a massively-multiplayer AR game in which players join rival secret societies to fight for control over “Exotic Matter” (XM) leaking into our planet. Using their smartphones, gamers travel to real world locations to gain control of portals around landmarks and famous buildings.

Millions of players are deeply absorbed in this game, which encourages physical exercise and location-spotting as you try to expand your team’s territory.


© Ingress // youtube


A visual discovery app, Blippar utilises image-recognition technology to help users to learn more about the physical world around them. By pointing their smartphone’s camera at objects (or as Blippar would have us call it, “blippable content”), people can get more information about things ranging from gadgets to fashion products.

As well as this, Blippar can bring up related digital content, such as film trailers, promo videos or mini games. This is useful for magazines, which use the app as a bridge between their digital and print content.

© Blippar // youtube

Google Translate 

In 2014 Google bought out Word Lens, one of the earliest AR apps on the scene, to integrate its augmented reality translation into their own application. As well as being able to convert text from one language to another, Google Translate can translate mysterious foreign words into your mother tongue.

Ideal for holidaymakers bamboozled by a restaurant menu or road sign, users place their smartphone camera over the text where it is scanned and then translated back to them on the screen in their own language.



© Google // youtube  

IKEA Catalogue 

The Swedish company famous for their furniture and meatballs (köttbullar) were one of the first major brands to embrace AR in order to make its paper catalogue more interactive.

This app enhances the printed version, so you can scan product pages to find out more about your selected item. Shoppers also have access to a digital catalogue, with even more pictures and information, as well as digital-exclusive features like videos and 360° room sets.

Best of all, with AR you can superimpose sofas, beds and shelves into your own home to get a sense of what it will look like if you purchase the real thing.


© IKEA // youtube  

Ink Hunter 

Tattoos are a great way to permanently personalise things that mean the most to you, while also being stylish. There’s no going back once you’ve been inked, so it’s important to plan out the design you want in advance.

Using AR, Inkhunter is an app that allows you to see what a tattoo will look like on your skin. You simply draw a marker on yourself then point your smartphone at it, and Inkhunter will show you a dynamic preview of the design, and you’ll be able to rotate and customise it.

Perfect if you’re looking to map out a new sleeve.


© Ink Hunter // youtube  

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07 2016  The Red Bulletin

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