UK based digital art practice and design studio, Universal Everything, have created a free AR app they’ve named “Super You”. The app features cutting edge body tracking technology which transforms the person in front of the camera, using a variety of AR costumes. And unlike many other AR apps, it doesn’t offer passive immersion, Super You brings you AR costumes that respond to movement in real-time.
In a recent press release, Founder of Universal Everything, Matt Pyke had this to say:
“This project combines our fascination for mixing timeless figurative representation with emerging technologies to create new forms of soulful digital expressions. By democratising the artwork through releasing this app to the public, we look forward to seeing the crazy, funny, inventive unexpected results” .
Transforming In AR
Super You was created in Unity, using Apple’s ARKit 3.5. It was developed as part of an art series called Future Human, which explores artificial forms. Using the latest AR technology in body tracking, the human body can be transformed to wear different virtual costumes.
Using the app is simple, just grab your iPhone or iPad and point the camera at a person, you then have the option to select one of the 11 costumes by swiping on your screen. Once you’ve selected a costume, you can watch the person transform into their new virtual character and move around the real world.
Super You responds to movement in real-time, allowing the person to keep on their virtual costume as they run, walk or dance. The AR technology is responsive to the person’s clothing, which lets the app match the AR costume to the colour of clothes that the person is wearing.
As the technology progresses, the app could potentially be responsive to other factors such as weather conditions or voices.
AR technology allows for entertaining and immersive visual content. As well as taking photos, you can also create short videos of your AR creations and even share your art online for all to see, using the #SuperYouAR hashtag to discover and be discovered.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Creators of Super You believe that their app uncovers the potential of AR and body centric experiences to defy material possibility as well as gravity and financial resources.
Just think of an intricate, heavily embellished gown, which the average person would not be able to afford or wear. But with the power of AR, it could be possible.
In a statement Pyke said:
“Now it’s possible to show such a garment being worn… And not as an AR ‘sticker’ superimposed in front of the body, but as a real-time body tracked garment which moves with you. The only limit for garments or costumes in performance art or fashion now would be your imagination.”
As AR technology continues to develop, we could see it being utilised on dance floors, runways and in even more retailers. It also has the potential to unlock resources and give artists the chance to express themselves creatively without a huge budget.
Universal Everything has plans to develop the app further and are currently experimenting with other artificial forms as well as designing new costumes for the app. They also have plans to add new functionalities which enable creators to customise the costumes in more detail.
The Super You app is compatible with Apple devices with the A12 and A13 chip. For iPhones, that includes XS, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, and SE (2020). Aside from these, the iPad Pro 2019 can be used to access the app. Your device must also be powered with iOS 13 or above. The AR app is now available for iOS worldwide; it's also free with no in-app purchases.