Chalk One Up for Augmented Reality


Thus far, I have not seen any augmented reality apps that have struck me as super-useful. Sky Guide AR is pretty cool, but unfortunately I don’t get a lot of quality time with the night sky. Obviously it’s early days yet, and I expect there will be plenty of amazingly useful apps in the near future. (Wait–if realtime translation “counts” as AR, then I guess that’s definitely pretty useful.)

The first app to catch my eye in an “I will use this every week” sort of way is Vuforia’s Chalk. Chalk sets up a video call wherein one person (person 1) can look through the other person’s (person 2) camera to see what they see. Then, person 1 can annotate person 2′s screen by drawing lines and circles and such on their own device.

Hypothetically, for example, if you have a not-terribly-intuitive remote for your TV setup (thx, Comcast!), you can use a Chalk call to remind your housesitter how to get their favorite show. Or if you have a new student worker out on a tech support call, you can help them troubleshoot an AV problem more quickly. It’s pretty nifty.

The video they’ve made for it is a little teeth-grating, but it gets the basic point across:

At the minute, Chalk only works on iOS 11, and on fairly recent iPhones and iPads. More platforms are on the way soon, allegedly.

Anyway, it’s definitely worth a try.

Do have any favorite augmented reality apps? Let us know in comments!

Photo “Chalk” by Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski / Creative Commons licensed BY-SA-2.0

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