eveloper Matt Bierner has created the WarpAR free iOS app, which allows users to experiment with Photoshop-like liquify tools to dynamically modify the world through augmented reality. The WarpAR app is more than just a cool tech demo, it gives us an insight into what the world may look like as technology blends with the real world. 

The WarpAR app features Photoshop-like liquify tools which can be used through augmented reality technology. The free app works on all iOS devices which support ARKit. On iOS devices with LiDAR, a bonus feature allows users to reach out with their hand to distort reality directly.

To date, the app features six different tool which will be familiar to Photoshop users: 

  • Bloat – Expand the texture outwards from the center.
  • Pucker – Collapse the texture inwards from the center.
  • Push – Move around parts of the world’s textures by tapping and dragging.
  • Restore – Move the texture back to its original, undistorted state.
  • Swirl Left – Swirl the texture to the left (counterclockwise) around the center.
  • Swirl Right – Swirl the texture to the right (clockwise) around the center.

Once users have finished modifying the world, they can take photos and videos of the effects in the app and directly share them to social media. 

The app’s creator Matt Bierner has been experimenting with several reality bending augmented reality apps. Before WarpAR, Bierner worked on a project call watAR, which added frighteningly convincing augmented reality waves to the world: 

Another intriguing project is In The Walls, which projects the user’s face onto a surface:

While many of these technology demonstrations are relatively playful, Beirner’s work is also a potent springboard to imagine what this sort of reality-manipulating capability might look like in the future.

Many of these applications work through handheld augmented reality devices, which showcase only a snapshot into a modified reality, however, the future will feature head mounted augmented reality devices with a much wider field of view which will make experiences more natural and blend with the real world more effectively. 

While most augmented reality applications focus on overlaying digital objects onto the real world, apps like these demonstrate that augmented reality can modify the real world itself.

Mar 25, 2021
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