For me, the satisfaction of completing a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle is relatively short-lived. True that I may have managed to bring together thousands of tiny colored sweets in one poster-sized mass of loveliness, or worked my way through miles and miles of blue sky without having a nervous breakdown – but what now? Germany's Ravensburger has the answer in the form of augmented reality. The company has released four puzzles that, upon completion, can be transformed into jaw-dropping video animation and sound effects on an iPhone or iPad via a free-to-download app.
The enhancement of the world around us through augmented reality is a firm favorite here at Gizmag, where we've seen it used to bring an extra element to fashion shows, add something special to mobile gaming, and even bring Terminator-like vision enhancements closer to reality. Now, Ravensburger has added digital interaction to four 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles depicting such things as a rooftop view of Paris or a mass of creatures in an undersea world.
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Where once we would have had to use our imaginations to bring such scenes to life, the new augmented reality puzzles just need dissectologists to download a free app onto an iPhone or iPad 2 and point the device camera at the completed puzzle. The iDevice user can then take a virtual 360 degree tour of Paris, watch sea creatures swim around and play a bonus game, go on an animated photo safari in Africa, or make their very own Norwegian snow globe onscreen.
The Augmented Reality Puzzles are available now in Europe for €14.99 (about US$20), with a Q3 release scheduled for the U.S.