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Augmented reality (AR) might sound like a science-fiction concept, but in fact the technology has been available for years and is here to stay. Unlike virtual reality (VR) which creates an entirely new, computer-generated environment, AR overlays virtual 3D objects over the real world. Probably the most popular application of augmented reality are games such as Pokemon Go, however, there are also more practical applications of this technology. Here are 5 of the most interesting AR apps available at the moment:

1.Civilizations AR
The BBC Civilizations AR app is an educational app that brings art and culture in 3D into your home. The app features over 40 museum artifacts that have been 3D scanned in great detail, among them an ancient Egyptian mummy and the Rosetta Stone. The 3D models can be positioned, rotated and resized as the user sees fit. The app also features some interesting options such as an Xray function that allows you to see inside the artifacts.

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2.StarWalk 2
The amazing StarWalk 2 AR astronomy app uses your device location to present an interactive picture of the sky. Simply point it at the sky and it will identify stars, planets, and constellations. The app overlays a virtual image of sky objects along with information, over what the camera sees. The Deep Sky Objects upgrade will allow you to zoom onto nebulae and galaxies, while the Time Machine feature lets you see the sky as it would have looked like millions of years ago, just by turning a dial.

3.Mondly
No matter how hard you work at learning a language, becoming fluent is very difficult without actual conversations. Mondly is an augmented reality language learning app that uses artificial intelligence to listen to you. Just like a real-life tutor, the Mondly app offers positive feedback only when your pronunciation is correct, teaching you to speak just like a native. Mondly features a fun augmented reality assistant, a verb conjugator, and dictionary.

4.Augment
The Augment AR shopping app allows you to put 3D models of any object in your environment. Mostly used for commerce, this app allows you to see the products you want to buy in 3D at home, rotate them, move them across the room and zoom in on them. The augment app is particularly useful if you are shopping for furniture and you need to know how it would look in your house before you buy it, or if it would fit into a particular space. The Augment app can also be useful in architecture.

5.Augmented Car Finder
Have you ever forgotten where you’ve parked your car? The Augmented Car Finder app uses a moving arrow to show you the direction where your car is parked, along with the street address and the time when you parked it. It has two levels of accuracy, normal and high, so you can find your car even in a busy parking facility. It also allows you to remember your parking places or mark them as favorites so you can use them again.

Augmented reality allows virtual, three-dimensional objects to be injected into the real world, where users can interact with them. Asides from fun AR games such as Pokemon Go, augmented reality is also useful in education, retail, architecture and day to day life. From remembering where you’ve parked your car to identifying constellations on the sky, augmented reality is becoming an exciting and very useful addition to our everyday lives.

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