This Apps Allows You to Copy and Paste Real World Items

AR Copy an Paste

It might be hard to understand what augmented reality is actually good for but Cyril here has an answer. Instead of projecting digital images into the physical world, why not bring the physical world into the digital. In simpler terms, real-life copy and paste.

AR Copy and Paste

Cyril Diagne has developed an interaction design prototype. It works by detecting objects in your surrounding and then removing the background. The remaining object can then be placed in an editing software for further tweaking. Here’s a quick demo on how it works.

AR can be the perfect tool to quickly grab visuals from the real world and paste them into digital documents. Just point your phone at what you want to copy, and drag it over to your desktop. No fiddling around emailing images to yourself or cutting out objects in Photoshop.

This is only a research prototype right now. However,  judging by replies to Diagne’s video, it looks like a few companies are already working on similar software. You can probably expect to see tools like this on your mobile phone in the near future. Cyril has no formal plan of commercializing this but he is looking to develop it further.
It would certainly make a nice addition to the only other AR application that seems to have much practical use. For example, seeing what clothes, furniture, and makeup look like pasted onto your face and/or house.

How It Works

As Diagne explains in a thread on Twitter, there are a few moving parts to his AR Cut & Paste demo.

  1. One component separates the foreground object from the background with machine learning,
  2. Another detects where your phone is pointing at your computer screen.
  3. It takes about 2.5 seconds to copy an object and four seconds to paste it, but that could be easily sped up.
  4. In fact, he’s even put his code up on GitHub for anyone who feels like they want to improve it themselves.


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