Imagine sitting on your patio, scrolling through your phone's photos, reminiscing about the past. Now imagine being able to see those photos floating in the air, at the exact vantage point from where they were taken a year ago.
That is exactly the augmented reality-powered experience a new app called ReplayAR is promising users.
Available for free on the App Store for iOS, the app uses GPS coordinates to anchor the photos you take through the app to real-world locations.
For example, if you were to take a photo of a friend holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you could revisit that location on some future date, and find that photo you took still floating right where you left it.
Not only can you take photos and anchor them to their real-world locations, but you can also take photos and videos of your AR experience and share them online.
"Our patented technology allows you to geocache your memories and see personal experiences projected on the locations where they actually happened," said Jay Huddy, the inventor and founder of ReplayAR, in a statement.
"Finding these AR photos in the real world is basically a combination of Instagram and Pokémon GO, but beyond that, the AR you create today can also be seen by future generations and provides a lasting way of saying: We were here."
And while ReplayAR is available for download, the team still considers it to be in its experimental stages. Currently, the team is working to "expand the app into a global AR social networking platform."
That future development might allow you to visit certain locations and turn on an app mode that lets you only see the photos your social network-linked friends took at a particular location. For now, the single-user version is meant to allow people to create their own time capsule of photos spread across the planet.
"We want to see what ReplayAR reveals about the human condition, how it can move us emotionally or maybe even be used as a positive tool for activism," said Huddy. "We still don't know the full range of what this is yet or how its effect will ripple through industries."
In addition to the fun of seeing your floating photos aligned with their real-world backgrounds, ReplayAR is hosting a contest which offers cash prizes up to $500. They're looking for users to take videos (from within the app itself) of their AR experiences and share them to Instagram using the hashtag #ReplayAR. There are $100 prizes available for the most creative, most inspirational, and most adventurous ReplayAR experience videos, and $500 for the best one overall. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2019.
As the overall AR ecosystem continues to grow, this type of location-centric feature will likely become increasingly popular across different platforms.