When it comes to Augmented Reality browsers on mobile devices, I always particularly liked Junaio (just one of the many AR tools created and maintained by Munich-based company Metaio). It’s an especially appealing option since it’s quite powerful, and has many, many content channels to choose from (a good side effect of their successful developer outreach – they have over 10,000 active content developers to date).
I’ll admit (and I’ve said this before) that while there are some great AR content choices in the app — like the Instagram channel where you can see local Instagram shots based on where they were tagged — I’ve always found the “channel” motif for organizing AR content clumsy and slightly confusing. That is until now.
The new version of Junaio, launching today, has made some major progress in simplifying the UI. Its new interface is much cleaner now and lets you get right to the camera view when the app starts up so you can immediately start scanning AR content, targets or QR codes.
In fact, the team has simplified the initial menu down to three basic functions (that are actuated by swipe or button press in the top nav):
- Scan QR codes, targets or signs for both AR and non-AR content
- View real-time, location specific AR content in the viewfinder (see middle image above)
- Search for Channel specific content
I have to say merely reorganizing the menu the way they have makes it much more intuitive to navigate. Additionally, the content channels seem to make more sense to me now because they are tied more clearly to a search icon. What’s more, they are a little more in the background — it feels more like they are supporting the app now instead of leading it, but are still quickly and easily accessible.
As with most Augmented Reality content, I can try to describe it with words until I’m blue in the face… you just have to see it to truly “get it” I think. Below, there’s Metaio’s “feel good” video that just came out today. And then there’s my test of the browser below that.
The app is available for download for both iOS and Android platforms here.
There is a pdf with example image targets and codes for different games and experiences available here.