Thursday, September 20, 2018
AR AppsAugmented Reality

AR Apps that Help Control your Smart Home

What’s cooler than a smart home? One controlled by AR apps.

Two of the biggest topics in technology today are augmented reality and smart technology. These two technology markets overlap in the exciting cases of AR apps that help you control your smart home.

Unfortunately, this is just starting to occur, and there aren’t many great examples of it that are readily available right now, so this article will also discuss future applications that we can still look forward to.

Already Here: Smart AR Home

Smart AR Home was released by Binary Banana LLC in April of 2018 after more than a year of development. This AR app works with Samsung’s smart technology line, SmartThings, and is currently developing compatibility with Hue, a line of smart lights by Philips. No markers are required, the AR app keeps all of the locations of the devices with relation to a “sync point” which can be any flat picture on your wall.

Smart AR Home works by creating augmented reality controls for compatible smart devices. Think dimmer switches for your lights, volume controls for your speakers, &c. By pointing your mobile device in the direction of these appliances, the interactive images displayed over your camera feed allow you to control your devices. While many smart appliances or the hubs that they are connected to allow voice control, the developers of Smart AR Home say that this system is superior because it maxes customization of graduated devices easier. For example, it is easier to get your lights to the perfect brightness by sliding your finger over the control on the Smart AR Home app than by telling a device that you want the room brighter or darker.

This AR app is available for free from the Google Play Store and from the App Store, and has nothing but positive reviews.

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Already Here: Reality Editor

Reality Editor, now in its second version, is a bit more complicated app that may allow much greater possibilities.

This AR app, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses basic coding called “logic crafting” that interacts with the electrical signals given off by devices that can be remotely controlled, as well as internet signals and data from the cloud when available. With some practice and the instructional resources provided at the website linked above, you can create controls on your mobile device to control electrical devices around you, from children’s toys to car doos.

Unfortunately, this exciting AR app is currently only available for iOS devices.

 

Look Forward to: Hayo

Hayo is a smart technology hub that is controlled through an AR app that allows you to create your own gesture controls for devices around you. The app lets you see the controls — when you’re getting started and in case you forget — and motion sensors in the Hayo console pick up your motions to control your devices. The areas in which you can do the commands to control your devices is limited, however, so you don’t accidentally turn off your lights by moving across the room from your defined control.

Hayo AR smart home

You can’t buy Hayo just yet, but there’s already a lot of buzz around this device, and since it has more than reached its funding goals on Indiegogo, it will hopefully be available soon.

Look Forward to: HoloLens

Two long years ago, an app designer created a proof-of-concept video showing what an AR app to control your smart home through a Microsoft HoloLens might look like.

The app teased in the video looks like a mix between Hayo and Smart AR Home, where augmented reality controls are assigned to various devices and controlled through motions. The key differences are that the motions would be picked up by the HoloLens instead of a motion sensor like in Hayo or performed on a surface like in Smart AR Home.

Nothing like this exists yet, but some of the images on the HoloLens website suggest that the developers of the hardware are expecting some similar AR, or rather mixed reality, apps to come out soon.

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Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat.