Ina Fried

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Apple’s iPad 2 Gets Its First Augmented Reality App

With the new iPad’s addition of front and rear cameras, developers are already starting to figure out interesting uses for them.

Among the first out of the gate (at least with an announcement) is Total Immersion, which is using the new hardware to create AR Magic Mirror, an augmented reality app that lets people “try on” various hairstyles, outfits and accessories.

“This second generation iPad will be a key enabler to what we will soon see in a massive range of powerful augmented reality applications.” said Total Immersion CEO Bruno Uzzan said in a blog post. “With the portability, processing power and broad consumer adoption of the iPad 2, a simple face tracking app today could soon become an essential makeover tool with beauty products at retail. Likewise a traditional game of online chess could become a massive, multiplayer game in the real world playing alongside vivid 3D characters and environments.”

Uzzan will be on an augmented reality panel being moderated by yours truly at next week’s CTIA conference in Orlando.

While still of varying utility, augmented reality applications ranging from games, to retail apps to translation programs have captured the imaginations of many in the tech world. Recent examples include Word Lens, an iPhone app that translates foreign signs on the fly.

There’s a YouTube video that shows AR Magic Mirror in action.

Uzzan said that Total Immersion plans to make AR Magic Mirror available as a free app available via the App Store, though he did not give a time frame.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work