I would say it’s about time some major company followed in the footsteps of Nintendo and their one-time phenomenal game app Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic Labs. The novelty of using augmented reality to enhance a gameplay experience on mobile devices could feel new again if applied to another brand.
Well that time has come for a brand to pick up the gauntlet, and that is the LEGO Company itself. Through their Creative Play Lab arm, the world’s biggest toy company is putting their own spin into the AR concept, and even integrating the in-game experience to their real products.
The result is LEGO Studio-AR, a new and free-to-download augmented-reality experience app that enables mobile builders to assemble and play with virtually rendered actual LEGO play sets and minifigures. By means of the AR feature, players can “blend in” their virtual LEGO builds with their real-world kits in near-seamless combinations.
Once the LEGO Studio-AR app has integrated your virtual builds with a camera image of your real LEGOs, you can then start taking snapshots of the blended environment or even shoot video, of you moving your actual sets, minifigures and models while you edit special effects for the virtual sets.
LEGO has announced an initial batch of sets rendered in virtual form for LEGO Studio-AR, though they most likely would increase the longer the mobile app remains up and running:
- LEGO City Police Station (60047 )
- LEGO City Train Set (60052 )
- LEGO City Fire Station (60110 )
- LEGO NINJAGO Green NRG Dragon (70593 )
- The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Cole’s Mech (70632 )
- The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Destiny’s Bounty (70618 )
Thus far there has been no word yet as to when LEGO Studio-AR will be officially released, and on which systems. LEGO Creative Play Lab, the developers of the app, is the new-technology research branch of LEGO.