Dinosaurs in my living room

Last week after watching the WWDC 2018 keynote I decided I would give the AR kit built into my iPhone a try. I’m still sporting an iPhone 6 so things were a bit sluggish compared to my friend’s iPhone X but I was able to test out a few AR apps. I downloaded Stack AR a Jenga like game which was a fun way to waste a few minutes. It was a bit choppy on the 6 but I still had a good time. Next I tried Dinosaurs AR and it was fun to see all sorts of dinosaurs crawling all over the living room. Things got really fun when I took it outside in the backyard. It seems that you get more dinosaurs in a smaller space than a larger one for some reason I wasn’t seeing a lot when I went outside perhaps because of all the sunshine who knows loved the sounds too and I still have it on my iPhone.

Now for the big let down…

The last app I tried was Ink Hunter. This one was frustrating because I could not get it to work on my skin. You basically draw a square smiley face on your skin, choose a tattoo from the app and hover over the smily face on you arm or wherever you drew it. It places the tattoo of choice in the spot. It did not work for me on the the several occasions that I tried with various lighting. I guess my skin was just too dark for the application to pick up the smily face. To test this out I drew a smiley face on a white piece of paper and hovered the app over that. Bam! Tattoo showed up immediately This of course made me start to think about a Ted talk I saw earlier on algorithmic bias.

I’m not sure who is responsible for this one AR kit or the Ink Hunter app but there is no excuse for this not to work for people of darker skin shades.Developers should test their apps for these sorts of issues.

 

In the meantime I’ll stick with the dinosaurs and send some feedback to the developer perhaps they don’t know that the app is problematic on darker skin tones…