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Rachel Metz

A View from Rachel Metz

Minecraft Invades the Real World in Augmented Reality App

Items from the building-block game appear around you with Minecraft Reality.

  • November 27, 2012

Fans of augmented reality and Minecraft, a game that lets players build things with virtual blocks, can now mash the two together.

As Wired and others have noted, the minds behind Mindcraft have come up with a new iPhone app, Minecraft Reality, which for $1.99 lets you insert your Minecraft creations into the real world—through the lens of your smartphone’s camera, of course.

Lamely, it seems that you must go through the Minecraft Reality site to save your own creations in a place where others using the app can discover them later on, but the app includes a number of sample objects you can place anywhere you’d like, such as a castle, battleship, or Ford Mustang. Users (who should be sporting an iPhone 4S or 5, according to the app’s maker) can also share an image of their juxtaposed fantasy-reality with friends.

A demo video on the Minecraft Reality site shows plenty of potential uses, with examples such as a life-size Gundam robot standing in a store, a Minecraft building nestled next to a real one, and a Ford Mustang parked on a city street.

I tried it out briefly by plopping a Mustang down on my desk. Though the app didn’t seem to keep track of where the object was perfectly (it often had to buffer if I moved away or approached from a different angle before the car showed up on-screen again), it did let me view it from many different angles, which was cool. So, for those of us on a budget, this could be a good way to get a peek at the good life without paying much for it.

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