A great intro to Augmented Reality using avatars
Size: 208 MB
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Apple’s Augmented Reality ambitions are currently evolving behind the scenes, but elsewhere it’s the in thing. From last summer’s smash hit Pokemon Go, to Facebook’s recently announced AR studio. Whether Apple will introduce any kind of AR functionality on its next iPhone remains to be seen, but in the meantime you can use the iPhone’s camera function to produce some pretty decent AR without new hardware functionality.
Gabsee is the latest app to do this. Fully social-focused, the idea is you can create an avatar in your image, and overlay it on the viewfinder of your camera. It’s a free app, and there are plenty of options for having your avatar act out various emotions and activities including hunger, happiness, sadness, and, erm… getting shot out of a cannon. Here’s how it works.
When you first open the app you’re asked to create an avatar. These cartoonish, full-bodied images are reminiscent, but actually quite a lot better than the avatars Nintendo introduced through the Wii, and later in its Miitomo app. You can tweak the face shape, hair-style and color, clothing, and even accessories like sunglasses.
Once you’ve created your character, you’re then taken to the camera screen. On top of this are various options for activities your avatar can act out. Once selected, you can then tap on the screen to insert your avatar onto whatever scene that’s in front of you.
This works surprisingly well when there’s a clear floor or flat surface, but if there’s not a lot of space or it isn’t clear where the floor is, the app might place your avatar in some bizarre places. However, once placed, you can then use two fingers to increase the size of the character, or use one finger to swivel them around to face you. Now, you simply leave the character to perform the action you selected.
Other options include typing out text. This looks much nicer than simply pasting some text over the screen like in Snapchat, and instead produces a speech bubble above your avatar’s head. You can then tap the record button and the app will record the scene with your character acting out the emotion. Weirdly, there isn’t an option to simply snap a quick still.
Overall the app works great and there are a number of sharing options including SMS, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more. You can also simply save the video. Gabsee is a really easy app to use, and is super fun. There’s not loads to it, but keeping it simple in AR’s early days is probably a good approach for it to take.
- Easy to use
- Good range of emotions & actions
- Fun to play with
- No still images – just video
- There's not loads to it