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Holograms three ways – how to add virtual people to your room

The word hologram feels a bit retro, no? Back in the day, we were trading holographic stickers for shiny ones like nobody’s business. And then, in 2012, we saw long-dead rapper Tupac take the stage at Coachella in digital hologram form. But with the introduction of Apple’s ARkit back in 2017, the concept has had a new lease of life by allowing the overlay of computer-generated imagery on to the very real life you can view through your iPhone camera.

Most apps work by using your camera to capture the real world in front of you, then providing various bits and pieces of 3D imagery or motion graphics that you can put on top of the real world. This can be as simple as a CGI person, or even burning flames giving the idea something’s on fire. The possibilities are vast.

While they may still seem a little retro as the technology continues to expand – and with some apps taking slightly strange routes to provide AR content, we certainly think it provides a great way of giving your videos and photos a certain… je ne sais quoi.

So, in that regard, here are 3 apps that add a little weirdness to you self-taken media.

1. Play3D

Want to rub shoulders with a celebrated sportstar? When you first find this app it’s not immediately obvious it’s from the NFL, but once downloaded it becomes, well, very clear. Fire up the app and get ready to add a whole series of 3D renderings of players to your photos and dance around them as they pose, pounce, and in the below example… try and run away.

2. Holo Portal

Want to make it look like you’re stepping from world into the next? Download Holo Portal and use your camera to look around the room until you see a door. Look through it and you’ll say another CG world on the other side. You can even walk through the door and into the new world which can get rather trippy.

3. Holo

Want to meet an influencer? Holo is a bit of an odd mix of stuff but one thing it has is YouTube celebrities. Add them to your scenes and you can interact with them. There’s even a selfie mode designed for your front-facing camera. Elsewhere, there’s some other interesting objects you can use – take the big ol’ tiger we found in the screenshot below. Dog is largely unfazed.