How to View the Augmented Reality Experience Lurking on Your Amazon Boxes

Amazon is changing its packaging to use less material, but is also adding fancy QR codes to its new boxes that allow you to scan and play 3D models on your phone using the Amazon AR Player app. Augmented reality works on iOS and Android.

The first of Amazon’s QR codes is for an AR pumpkin, which changes its appearance when you draw on it, like carving a digital lantern out of a pumpkin. The pumpkin will appear on packages sent between now and Halloween, so it is possible that some of your purchases will appear in one of the new boxes on the first day.

You can also download, draw and scan an AR pumpkin without a box.

  1. Download the Amazon AR Player app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store .
  2. If you don’t have a box to scan: open this link on your smartphone . Scroll down to “Didn’t receive the box?” and tap the follow these steps link.
  3. If you are using a QR code on a physical box: Draw on an empty pumpkin with a black marker to give it a face. When you’re ready, scan the QR code in AR Player.

After scanning, the 3D pumpkin will appear in AR Player camera mode. You can then customize the carved pumpkin with a variety of color options and accessories such as bat wings, hats, glasses, and more. The model usually just floats in the viewfinder, but newer iPhones can use the 3D pumpkin as a selfie filter that tracks your head movement. Photos taken in the app can be shared with your contacts or posted on social networks (oh, and don’t worry – Amazon doesn’t access or store AR Player data).

Jack-o-lantern is Amazon’s first augmented reality experiment, but probably not the last. Amazon’s promotional materials show how the app can transform a box into a tiny augmented reality car, conjure up a digital corgi, and more.

When you’re done with these boxes, be sure to recycle or repurpose them into something else – like a fort for your kids, emergency firelighters, or even a substrate for growing oyster mushrooms at home (which is what I use them for).

[ Tech Crunch ]

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