Zappar Zaphat may forever change how we look at AR functionality

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Augmented reality is a technology that shows a lot of promise but, for the most part, has not yet fulfilled any of it. What can you do far? Hold your phone in the direction of the nearest subway, jump on a virtual King Koopa and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on some bizarre action figures that take part in a video game for kids. So far it’s mostly a money trap that doesn’t offer much by way of true “wow” factor. As computing power, and innovation, increases you can expect this to change. Soon we’ll be living in an AR-filled world, once they work out a few kinks. Well it looks like they are working out some of those kinks each and every day.

Zappar, a leading developer of augmented reality software, has announced the launch of Zaphat. Zaphat aims to combine the physical world with the digital through a series of branded hats. Each physical hat contains digital content. This content is accessed through use of a mobile application. When the hats are scanned with a smart phone, an animated, 3D mask will cover the face of the person wearing the hat. These masks can take all kinds of forms, including popular cartoon characters and gruesome entities of nightmarish delight. Sure, this is more or less a novelty item, but it’s a really cool novelty item.

The hats are still on the digital drawing table so no official price has been announced. The company has stated that each hat will come with a variety of AR masks for free, with others for sale on their app store. Here’s to hoping we can transform into Pikachu one day very soon. Pika Pika.