PowerUp Toys is motorizing more paper vehicles

PowerUp Toys, the makers of a smartphone-controlled paper airplane kit, is at Toy Fair 2019 with three new gizmos to occupy your free time. The company has an updated version of its popular plane kit with dual propellers, a new motorization kit that...

‘Magic UX’ makes the most fascinating use of augmented reality I’ve seen

Take a second to appreciate what’s happening in the video above. It uses augmented reality for work in a way that intuitively plugs the gap between physical and digital workspaces. It requires no tutorials, and is so easy to understand, simply because our physical experiences of organizing our workspaces is brought into the digital world!

Meet the Magic UX, and experiment by the guys at Special Projects. The idea of the Magic UX is to take the way we multitask in the physical world, and bring it to the digital world. Multitasking or switching between tasks on your phone can involve a lot of unnecessary swiping and pressing of icons and buttons that waste time. Multitasking at your desk isn’t that complicated. If you want to write, you pick up your pen and write. if you want to type, you put the pen down and move your hands to the keyboard. The guys at Special Projects believe that Augmented Reality in phones can bring that physical ease into the digital world.

The Magic UX is a result of that belief. You use the phone’s spatial awareness to ‘pin’ applications in a certain point in space, much like placing your notebook in one corner of your desk, and your calendar at another, and your post-its at a third corner. Magic UX lets you pin your apps in dedicated spaces, and the minute you move your phone away, the app fades into the background. You can create a literal landscape of apps that you can switch between by simply switching the location of your phone. What’s even better is that you can even drag and drop items with incredible intuition, by quite literally dragging and dropping them in a virtual space! I can’t wait to see major mobile operating systems begin noticing the potential that AR has in revolutionizing the way we work!

Designer: Special Projects

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The handheld device that’s replacing the AR/VR headset

Designed to look like an innocuous little flashlight for emergency blackouts, the Lumen is tonnes more advanced than it would have you believe. Yes, it is, in the most basic of terms, a flashlight, but it does more than throw photons on an un-illuminated surface. The Lumen is more than a flashlight… it’s a handheld AR projector that detects objects, projects onto them after determining what they are, and lets you interact with the projections in a manner that combines multiple separate experiences into a singular one so futuristic, it would have you pinching yourself.

Much like the Lightform, a smart device that connects with an external projector to aid in object detection and creation of a projected augmented reality experience, the Lumen works on similar lines, but it just doesn’t detect objects by detecting the boundaries between two surfaces/objects, the Lumen actually identifies objects and the angle they’re placed at in relation to the projector, playing relevant animations over the objects.

In a lot of ways, the Lumen’s true competitor is (or was) the VR Headset. Not designed to be an exhibition/entertainment machine like the Lightform, the Lumen is like a flashlight that replaces a VR headset that covers your eyes, and layers images onto reality just for the wearer. Lumen’s projection mapping technology means that the VR/AR experience is as portable as lifting and pointing the device on a surface, and the projections that emanate from it are a public experience, rather than a private one. In fact, Lumen’s projections can be interacted with too, via touch! Armed with a camera, a depth sensor, a projector, and artificial intelligence that’s definitely capable of some heavy-lifting, the Lumen is a flashlight shaped product that replaces the chained, headset experience of AR/VR and makes it more unbridled, intuitive, and life-changing!

Designer: Arvind Sanjeev

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This is the world’s first Augmented Reality Drone

The Space Creator Drone is quite unlike any drone you’ll ever see. It doesn’t fly around capturing pictures, but rather projects pictures onto surfaces, turning walls and floors into windows showcasing alternative realities on the other side.

Mounted with a projector lens where you’d expect a camera, the Space Creator drone flies around casting images onto surfaces, turning them into points of storytelling. The drone creates environments instead of capturing them, being refreshingly different. I for one love the way it makes it look like there’s a blue whale floating around the house. Working on a principle that’s pretty much the same as AR, the Space Creator is technically an AR drone. It projects virtual elements on your wall in a way that makes them appear above your reality, adding a bit of magic and mystery to it. The drone is capable of spatial tracking too, making sure that the projected image changes as the drone moves around. A stunning concept that’s backed by technology we can definitely expect in a year from now. Fingers crossed!

Designer: Seohee Lee

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Experience the Sights and Sounds of the Moon Through AR

Since it’s more likely than not that you won’t be visiting the moon anytime soon, why not experience the next best thing? With these LUNAR AR Moon Models, you can hold the moon right in your hand – through the magic of augmented reality, of course.

Using the companion AstroReality app, you can experience what it’s like to see, touch, and yes, hear the moon. Explore lunar craters and seas with the app’s high-resolution topography, and learn insightful moon trivia that will make you want to join NASA tomorrow. All the while, you’ll enjoy a sweet miniature polyresin replica of the Moon you can hold in your hand and display proudly on your desk.

Lunar AR Moon models are available in three sizes – mini (30mm), regular (80mm), and pro (120mm) – with prices ranging from $39 to $219. You can get yours today in the Technabob Shop.

Augmented Reality for All

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Swift Creatives looks to take full ownership of the augmented reality space with the development of 4 distinct products and applications for everyday use. The common denominator across all the designs is integration into gear already being used in each scenario. Whether it’s in the lab or on the Tour de France, there’s a wearable AR device to help you hack your performance no matter what you’re doing!

Designer: Swift Creatives

Sport AR goggles: Wearable AR for sport, fitness and active lifestyles where sunglasses are a standard part of the equipment. Helps to enhance performance and improve abilities by better tracking and monitoring an individual’s activity.

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Enterprise AR Visor: A holographic headset designed for lab and manufacturing environments that enhances quality insurance and optimizes workflow. A natural extension of safety glasses, the Enterprise AR Visor displays important information to improve efficiency and quality insurance.

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Discreet Modular: Wearable AR that enhances the design process by helping architects and designers to visualize their ideas. This concept acknowledges that glasses are an important part of personal style by incorporating the technology into more stylish, fashion-led forms.

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AR Neckband: A new way of utilizing AR possibilities by concealing the technology inside a discreet, elegant neckband. Versatile and comfortable with a sleek design to provide quick and easy access to large datasets.

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