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How Augmented Reality Can Enhance Your Next Vacation

June 27, 2018

Traveling abroad? AR technology can help. Here are the apps to download before you go. 


Longer days, warmer weather and ocean fever — summer is officially upon us, and so is vacation season. Whether you choose to explore the enchanting canals of Italy or taste a true Parisian baguette, don’t let a language barrier or unfamiliar surroundings hinder your experience. Traveling abroad has never been easier thanks to Augmented Reality (AR), a new technology that allows mobile users to utilize their phone’s camera to transform their surroundings in high speed using superimposed graphics on the device.

The best part of all? This technology already resides in the palm of your hands. Both the Apple app store and Google Play store are bustling with new AR apps ready to be used on your next getaway. For a better understanding of how these tools can enhance your vacation abroad, read through some of the common travel mishaps:

What does that say? 

Avoid getting lost in translation. With AR tools like Google Translate, you can use your camera to take a photo of any foreign text and have it translated in seconds. Can’t read the menu? Unsure about which bathroom is for men and which is for women? Snap a picture and get your answer. As for when your waiter approaches the table and asks you what you’d like to eat, Google Translate can also capture his greeting on your device and redeliver to you in English. 

Where are we exactly? 

New cities can seem like a maze. Didn’t you pass that tower an hour ago? Get a grip on your surroundings with Yelp Monocle, which places the roadmap to your trip in the palm of your hands. Hold your phone up to explore the city’s best sights around you. Find one you like? Tilt your phone down to the ground to trigger the map view so you can find the best route to your next destination. 

Is there a kids menu?  

As a parent on a constant quest for kid-friendly meals, don’t end up making your kids (or yourself) choose between Escargot or Beef Pâté for lunch. Get access to nearby restaurants and cafés with AR tools like Kabaq. Explore menus, see life-like animations of dishes, and check ingredients all before you step through the door. 

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