For the past year or so people have been talking about augmented reality apps a lot, but to be honest, a lot of those apps have felt like gimmicks. After all, does it really matter if you can hold up your phone’s camera to the real world and see that there are 16 restaurants in the direction you’re pointing? It’s probably easier to find those restaurants if they’re plotted on a map anyway.

But now we’re starting to see apps that actually make augmented reality seem useful. Recently we took a look at an app called Word Lens which not only offers real-time translation of text scanned by your iPhone camera… but actually replaces the text on a sign, printed page, or other real-world object. Unfortunately Word Lens is kind of temperamental and doesn’t work very well yet, but it’s still a pretty awesome example of where augmented technology is headed.

If you’re looking for another use, and one that actually works right now, you might want to check out DanKam. This $2.99 app is designed to help color blind people differentiate between colors they can’t normally distinguish.It does this by allowing you to adjust the huge of colors picked up by your camera until the colors stand out.

While I wouldn’t expect anyone to go through life holding an iPhone up to their face so they can see every last color, developer Dan Kamisky does point out a couple of potential uses for this type of app, such as matching clothing or figuring out whether the status light glowing on your PC or other gadget is red or green.

Although I’m not color blind, some of the comments on the app in the App Store are pretty amazing. While not every color blind user finds the app to help with their vision, a number have said they’ve been able to view charts they could never make out before, or better yet, pick out certain colors in real world settings.

DanKam is available from the App Store for $2.99.

via Download Squad

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...