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Lego Combines Physical and Virtual Block-Building Through Augmented Reality

07 December 2017 | Jonathan So

Lego has always been known for its block-building toys that enable owners to physically assemble to create literally whatever they want. Recently, Lego has decided to add more fun to the process by incorporating augmented reality to supplement physical kits, through an app known as AR Studio that is free to download on iOS.

Wait A Minute... What in the World is Augmented Reality?

Before we continue further, allow me to briefly explain what augmented reality or AR is to those who might not be familiar with the term. Augmented reality is a technology integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real-time. In simpler terms, augmented reality overlays digital information onto the existing environment, adding virtual elements into real-life situations.

More About the AR Studio App

The AR Studio app, which was released on 1st December 2017, uses Apple’s ARKit platform to add animated characters and audio-visuals to selected Lego toys, creating a combination of digital and physical elements. All you need to do is to simply hold your iPhone over these models and you will be able to summon fire-breathing dragons, elements, and firetrucks dousing flames with hoses!

Apart from these elements, virtual Golden Bricks are also hidden in the Lego AR environment for users to seek out and collect while using the app.

Compatible sets at launch include classic models Lego City Police Station 60047, Train Set 60052, and Fire Station 60110. Three Ninjago sets are also supported to date, which are Green Dragon 70593, Cole’s Mech 70632, and Destiny’s Bounty 70618. Not to worry though as Lego will definitely add more models to the list once the app develops further in the near future.

Furthermore, the app also enables users to record the “special appearances” of these virtual extras through its built-in camera for you to watch at a later date. You should keep in mind though that the app only works for iPhones that have A9 processors and newer, meaning the iPhone 6S and beyond. Look like this could spell trouble for parents who are protective of their newly-purchased iPhone X.

So far, the new AR Studio app looks like a major hit amongst children as well as adult fans and collectors of Lego kits. Why not join in the fun and get yourself a Lego set this Christmas?

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