Can These Augmented-Reality Apps Move Beyond the Gimmicks?

Last week, a man jumped out of a bottle of Pepsi and performed a magic trick for me.
No, I wasn’t hallucinating in the New York City heat wave. I was using an augmented-reality app on my iPhone that makes 3-D images and videos appear, through the phone’s camera, as though they’re on top of physical objects or environments.

Augmented reality isn’t new in consumer apps. You might recall the buzz a few years ago around Yelp’s Monocle feature, or maybe you’ve heard of apps like Spyglass, which blend AR tech with the built-in GPS of a smartphone to offer interactive displays for outdoorsy types.

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