Tagged With augmented reality

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Welcome back to Toy Aisle, our regular round up of all the wonderful toys we've been pining after lately. This week: Sphero's latest little robot toy, Thor: Ragnarok's new look for Thor gets an awesome figure, and we have thoughts about the butt of DC Comics' Dick Grayson. Let's get to it!

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Forget virtual reality, for now at least, because augmented reality, or AR as it is commonly known, is powering the next batch of magic tricks heading to your phone. Apple and Google are pushing the tech hard, but what's actually new about the next wave of AR? What's changed since Pontiac stuff it in the ugly Aztek or Niantic had you catching Pokemon with it in Pokemon Go? And what are you going to be able to do with it...besides game?

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When you were a kid, what did you think the future would look like? Hoverboards, Back to the Future style? Flying Cars a la The Jetsons?

It's 2017 people, and look what we have here - an augmented reality Ikea experience. So that everywhere is your life can be filled with Ikea, like a disillusioned insurance worker's apartment shortly before starting an underground Fight Club.

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Flashlights and toy lightsaber might do a decent job of making you feel like a Jedi when you're twelve, and fancy prop reproductions might do the job when you're adult. But it is all still make believe. You're not taking on Darth Vader in your living room, you're waving a toy and making "vrm vrrm" noises. A new augmented reality game from Disney hopes to change that. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is Disney's first standalone augmented reality machine. Created in conjunction with Lenovo, it's a $US200 set that includes a headset, tracking beacon and lightsaber remote. Pop your Android or iOS phone into the headset, put the beacon on the floor, ignite the lightsaber and your path to becoming a Jedi Master begins.

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The pitch was Pokemon GO meets Call of Duty. I couldn't quite fathom how that would turn into a cool as hell game, but it involved augmented reality, a key feature of Pokemon GO, and laser tag, and those are both very fun things. Then I sat down with the team from Skyrocket and got to actually hold one of the guns from its new Recoil laser tag system. "It's AR adjacent," the PR rep said. My interest plummeted, but I gamely let them set up the demo and tried to play for an hour. While it quickly became clear this was only Pokemon GO meets Call of Duty in the most high brow theoretical sense, it was also clear that Recoil could be the best backyard laser tag system built yet.

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There are a few reasons to be bullish about augmented reality. It's just neat is the most important reason. Its practicality is another great factor. But above all, the fact that Apple is about to unleash its app developers to go crazy with AR in iOS 11 means that a ton of content should be coming. This humble measuring tape app is just the tip of the iceberg.

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New technology using augmented reality and mixed-reality is helping surgeons plan and position (in real time) patients undergoing ear, nose and throat surgery.

Known as Target Guided Surgery (TGS), it's helping top make even the most complex surgery safer - especially for even operations close to the optic nerve and the brain.