Improved AR App Lets Users ‘Cut-and-Paste’ Real Objects Into Digital Glamour

Improved AR App Lets Users ‘Cut-and-Paste’ Real Objects Into Digital Glamour.

A reality-bending app called ClipDrop lets users “drop” real-life objects into a desktop display, in a fun application of augmented reality (AR) taking social media by storm, according to a recent demo tweet from developer Cyril Diagne.

While an earlier prototype was reported before, we’re here to show how far it’s come.

The app concept is beyond cool — letting users take a picture of any real-world object and automatically remove the background and convert the desired object into a digital image. Users may then paste the new image on a desktop display and use it in applications.

ClipDrop does a fairly impressive job of distinguishing objects in focus from the unwanted background — but sometimes it gives blurred edges or excluded parts of the object. Presumably, these bugs are faults of the beta stage, and will improve as time goes on.

The app also works directly with other apps, like Powerpoint, Photoshop, Canva, and Pages — which means users may paste objects directly into an in-progress project. Additionally, users may use the desktop app to pull text or images from websites or apps.

Mobile phone-based AR apps are nothing new. The first AR application (in the loose sense of the word) came from Harvard University in 1968 — when Ivan Sutherland developed an AR/VR head-mounted display system, called “Sword of Damocles.” Instead of a camera, it was connected to a camera.

Sutherland even conceived the “Ultimate Display” concept — at which simulated reality could appear indiscernible from “real” reality. The conditions to be met involved VR viewed vai head-mounted display capable of appearing “realistic” through augmented 3D sound and tactile feedback (sometimes called haptic).

Additionally, computer hardware needs to create and maintain VR in real-time, and users should experience interactive capabilities with the virtual world in a “realistic” way.

While we can’t say for sure whether ClipDrop meets Sutherland’s conditional concept for the “Ultimate Display,” we find it difficult to deny that AR is beginning to eat its way into our so-called physical reality, thanks to the integration of innovative apps.

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