Skip to main content

Your photos come to life thanks to new emotionsAR service

Spot emotionsAR - Take care of your memories
Remember those moving newspaper and book photos in the Harry Potter movies and books? It may not be long before our technology catches up with the wizardry of JK Rowling.

The idea behind the new EmotionsAR Pro service is to offer a way to bring our memories to life using augmented reality. It brings still images to life, just like those moving newspapers and books in the Harry Potter universe.

Related Videos

“This is an entirely new category of value-added, augmented reality products,” EmotionsAR CEO Josep Balleste told Digital Trends. “Static wedding pictures, event photography and marketing imagery can all be brought to life with video, speech, voiceover, music and interactive buttons.”

Imagine being able to hold your phone over a wedding photo in the album and have a short video file play with a music track, or scan a photo of a person in a business environment and get a short voice-over presentation with links to contact details and a website. There are lots of possibilities to get creative with something like this.

EmotionsAR Pro brings still images to life, just like those moving newspapers and books in the Harry Potter universe.

The basic concept is that you have a video file in MP4 format. You take a still image from the video and, using the EmotionsAR interface in your Web browser, you attach the video file to it. You also have the option to attach a separate sound track, and you can add three interactivity buttons. Your choices are hyperlink, email, or phone. The video size is currently limited to 20MB and it’s suggested that you keep the length below one minute.

It takes a few seconds for the “Memory” to be created. You’ll need to download the free EmotionsAR app for Android or iOS and install it on your phone. You may also want to print the still image out. Once the Memory is ready, you can use your phone to scan the still image with the app, and it will trigger the video. The clever image recognition software is cloud-based and that ties you to the EmotionsAR app.

We tried it out and found it easy to create a new Memory. The interface is pretty straightforward and it doesn’t take long to work through the process. We tried scanning the image from our monitor screen and, though the EmotionsAR Android app recognized the image, the video didn’t work properly. The app looped on recognizing the image: It would start to play the video, and then jump back to searching again. After a little tinkering with the distance though, it started to work properly.

You may run into problems if your Wi-Fi connection isn’t solid, if there’s any reflection on the image that might distort it, or if the image you’ve chosen doesn’t have enough contrast. We also tried printing the image out as a physical photo and it worked a lot better. The app recognized the image quickly each time and loaded the video within a few seconds.

Related: Thermal imaging doesn’t just illuminate the dark, it now lets you turn dumb objects smart

This is being billed as a service for professional photographers right now.

“By putting our advanced technology into the hands of creative professionals in the photo industry we’ve created a tool that enables them to create more personalized products and new services,” says Balleste.

But there are plans to open it up for hobbyists and offer a premium service with new pricing models later this year.

The price is definitely a potential sticking point. If you wanted to keep a Memory indefinitely then it could cost you a lot of money. A single memory creation was 60 credits and that means your Memory will be stored on the EmotionsAR servers for 30 days, or 100 views, whichever comes first. You can set up automatic renewals, and it costs 40 credits for another 100 views, or 20 credits for an extra 30 days.

emotionsAR Birthday Party

If you’re wondering what that is in real money, credits can be acquired at a cost of 250 for 5 euros ($5.36). There’s a sliding scale, so the more you purchase, the cheaper they get. At the top end of the scale right now 500 euros ($536) will buy you 33,000 credits.

In case you’re wondering, you retain ownership of all your content and EmotionsAR promises to respect intellectual property rights and privacy. Your content is uploaded to and stored on the EmotionsAR server, but you can download it at any time. When your credits or views run out, the content is automatically deleted from the server.

“We want to be the Instagram of augmented reality,” says Balleste.

If the experience is polished a little and the pricing moves down to free, perhaps that ambition can be realized. Based on our time with the service we can certainly see it being popular, everyone we showed was suitably impressed by the effect. Check out the EmotionsAR website for more details or to try it out for yourself.

Editors' Recommendations

When is my phone getting Android 14? Here’s everything we know
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra next to the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Google has released the second developer preview for Android 14, its upcoming smartphone software for Google Pixel devices. This should be the last developer preview before Android 14 moves on to the open beta stage of testing, then a planned public release later in 2023.

With Android 14, there are some priority changes in app behaviors and compatibility instead of just new features and other enhancements. There are also going to be improvements made to settings for privacy, security, and even system health. In short, Android 14 may not be packed with a ton of brand-spanking-new features, but it will refine and streamline what is already there.

Read more
Android does this one thing so much better than iOS, and it drives me crazy
Individual volume control sliders on a Samsung Galaxy S23

I’ve long been an iPhone user and always will be — it's just what's in my blood. Even though I’ve been dipping my toes into various Android devices since I started here at Digital Trends, my primary device is still an iPhone 14 Pro. There are a few reasons behind this decision: I’m heavily vested in the Apple ecosystem already, I bought the 1TB model to not worry about storage, and some apps I use don’t have a good enough Android equivalent.

Despite my personal choice of using iOS primarily, the more time I spend with Android, the more I notice things that it does way better than Apple’s iOS. And one of those things is how Android handles volume controls compared to iOS’ rather rudimentary and infuriating system. It may sound like a small thing to home in on, but it's something I just can't overlook.
Apple’s iOS volume controls are badly outdated

Read more
The iPhone 14 now comes in this yellow color, and I’m obsessed with it
The iPhone 14 in yellow.

Apple announced a new iPhone this morning. No, not the iPhone 15 or the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra. Apple is refreshing the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus for 2023 with a brand-new yellow color. Rumors of the yellow color began circulating a couple of weeks ago, and on Tuesday, March 7, Apple made it official.

Reading through the press release on its website, Apple says this new yellow hue adds "even more color choices to the lineup." Per the company's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, "People love their iPhone and rely on it every day for all that they do, and now there’s an exciting addition to the lineup with a new yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus."

Read more