Guess it started when, earlier this week here in the VisualCue offices, one of our data analysts was walking down the hall, phone in front of her face, completely absorbed in what she was doing. While we initially thought that perhaps she was just taking a video of our offices (they are amazing) we were all pretty amazed when she just walked right out the door.

Turns out she was just doing what over 65 million people have been doing lately- playing the latest augmented reality craze Pokemon Go.

Pretty soon the entire office had joined in and we were swapping stories about hunting down elusive Pokemon all around our Orlando offices and homes.

But it got us thinking about augmented reality- it’s a technology that VisualCue has used and continues to develop because we’re convinced that it will be an even more integral part of data visualization in the future.

So we asked around the office for everyone’s favorite augmented reality apps and games and got a list of amazing interactive experiences to share!

Star Walk

Have you ever looked up in the sky and wondered “what’s that star over there called?” With the Star Walk app you just hold your phone up to the sky and it can tell you. With over a hundred thousand stars catalogued this amazing app opens up the sky in ways we never even dreamed of.

augmented reality data visualization
there’s a giant crab in they sky

The thing we love the most about this app? The fact that it doesn’t just show you which stars are shining tonight- but you can go even deeper and get basic information about many of the celestial bodies you see as well as real-time alerts to celestial events that you can then check out on your phone.

Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner

No surprise that this suggestion came to us from the office’s resident Star Wars fan. But what it does with the world is the amazing thing- it turns wherever you are into an amazing, galactic space battle.

Star Wars data visualization
TIE Fighters attacking the park

Our favorite part about this one is how it turns your entire world into something exciting and fun. And, according to the VisualCrew member who told us about this app, it is best played with all the lights off and in a swivel chair so you can get the full feeling of blasting TIE Fighters out of the sky (though we think it’s been removed from the app store).

Why Augmented Reality?

It all comes down to this- information is all around us. The world itself runs on data and augmented reality is the best way we have right now to see that information in it’s native habitat.

With so many real-time data visualization apps coming out this is the only way to really USE the real-time function of it- to see the data as it’s happening, where it’s happening, and then be able to change it. Gets us excited!

Then again, using augmented reality to catch Charmander was pretty great too.

Until next time,

The VisualCrew