Professor, Designer, Husband, Father, Gamer, Bagpiper

I was looking at the video of this app, "Jigsaw Live," as I look at most potentially interesting AR apps.  On the surface, it sounds interesting:  " an AR jigsaw puzzle."   I've been interested in making AR jigsaw puzzles for a while (heck, I even went to the extreme of sending mail to my favorite puzzle company, Stave, to see if I could interest them, to no avail).  But, to me, the concept is about augmenting a puzzle.

After all, AR apps really need to have two components: reality + augmenting.  If reality doesn't really matter, than why bother with making it an AR app (for example, holding up the phone in this app to solve the "puzzle" is tiring, as it is with any app that requires you to hold the phone up for a period of time).  And, you need to augment the reality in some way ... right?  Bring these two things together, and then add something fun, exciting, engaging or useful.

So, let's consider this app, then.

They have reality, you might say. It's live video on the puzzle pieces, so that's reality, right ... or, is it?  Does reality matter? Not really, actually.  It's just video.  Looking at something different doesn't change the puzzle, nor affect the program.  Reality is "just a texture" ... it could be a video or image from you camera roll, and it wouldn't really change things.  The live video is cool at first;  but, in the end, it's just a gimmick.

Going further, do they "augment" it?  No.  Their "reality" (the video texture) augments their puzzle, but reality isn't augmented, nothing is moved out into the world, nothing about the world around you is enhanced.

Perhaps the title "Jigsaw Live:  Augmented Puzzle" would be a more accurate title?  I think so.   Unfortunately, even the puzzle doesn't look that interesting.  Square pieces?  Up to 100?  For $2.99?  Yikes!  I would have bought this and played with it if it was $0.99, since I'll pretty much buy any potentially interesting app for that.  But, for $3, you have to do better!    The "ultimate in puzzle fun" (to quote their page)?  Really?  One wonders if the authors even played a puzzle (a real one, not one of those 4x4 square slider puzzles, or the cornucopia of lame flash puzzles).

Ah well, another good app name taken.

I'm including their video here, so you can look at it now, and draw your own conclusions.  What do folks think ... am I being too critical?

{% youtubes 4nRpPeiv4E4 %}

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