AUSTIN (Laptopmag.com) — PAR Works wants the entire world to be interactive through Augmented Reality. It unveiled a mobile app called Mars that can recognize any object from any angle and deliver the user relevant information. MARS stands for Mobile Augmented Reality Solution, and the app can learn to recognize any object, or group of objects, from any angle or distance.
MARS isn't just about businesses tagging its products with sales pitches. The content on the app is user-generated and maintained. Anyone with the MARS app can snap a photo of an object, such as a statue in a park or their favorite desk chair, and get instant information about the object from other users.
If an object hasn't yet been added to the database, the app prompts for 10 pictures, from different angles, in order to build a 3D model. The user can then add content, such as a relevant Wikipedia page or a comment forum. Anytime any other user snaps a picture of the same object, they'll see the relevant information and be able to add content of their own.
The technology that powers Mars stitches together multiple images to create a 3D representation. These modeling algorithms don't use locational data, instead relying on intelligent image recognition, so any camera can be used, not just GPS-enabled smartphones. The user can move around taking pictures and even zoom in and out, and the Par Works software built the 3D mockup.
Par Works envisions a world where users can snap a picture of a monument to get more information or a friend's new shoes to get a pair of your own. Likewise, a user can snap a picture of an entire cold medicine aisle, enter their symptoms and get an immediate recommendation. Angles or distance to any of the objects don't matter.
The MARS app is still in private beta, so not all the features are yet available, but users can now download the app for both Android and iOS. Currently, users can only scan certain items to get more information, but the ability to add new objects is coming soon.