Cool Augmented Reality Gift ideas

Technology evangelists have been talking for years about how virtual reality is sure to revolutionize how we interface with computers, software applications, and video games. Often overlooked, however, is VR’s close relative, augmented reality, or AR.

Similar to VR, Augmented Reality makes use of computer-generated graphics and user interfaces which are often experienced through the use of a headset, glasses, or similar device. What makes AR different is that rather than experiencing these graphics in a way that obscures the outside world, locking the user into virtual reality, they are overlaid on top of the user’s physical environment. In this sense, you could say that where VR creates a separate virtual world for the user to experience, AR augments the real world with additional graphical interfaces.

Despite being lesser-known today, many tech experts claim that the widespread adoption of AR is in fact more inevitable than that of VR. Being able to be visually tapped into the boundless information of the internet without losing the ability to perceive and interact with your physical surroundings could well be a gamechanger for many users. It also opens the doors for AR to play a bigger part for working professionals, which means that AR can more easily find a foothold with the B2B market.

In addition, AR is offering media companies the chance to engage with their audiences in a new and exciting way.

AR products can make for a stellar gift for techies, gamers, and even for the AR uninitiated. This is because since AR products can be used without making users unable to interact with their physical environment, they can often provide more day-to-day utility than many VR products

The New York Times, for example, is offering readers the chance to interact with branded AR elements through their mobile app. These efforts are almost certain to indicate a future trend towards AR entertainment and reporting.

Let’s take a look at some of the coolest AR gift ideas so that you can make sure the special techie in your life doesn’t miss out on this exciting trend.

  1. A Microsoft Hololens

This first gift is a true stunner for an AR enthusiast. The Microsoft Hololens is the premiere mass-market AR headset on the market today. The device has already found a core group of power users mainly consisting of professionals from fields from medicine to architecture who use the headset for work to accomplish a wide range of tasks.

While still a relatively new offering from Microsoft, the Hololens does have a strong and growing developer community that works primarily with businesses and enterprise clients to build apps for the device. That said, a Hololens user that doesn’t necessarily use the device for work isn’t left out. The Hololens also offers a wide variety of games that are immersive, addictive, and exciting.

Some of the most popular games include Roboraid, Fragments, Vivo, and Young Conker. Each game offers a unique take on the extremely immersive and interactive mixed reality technology of the device. Gamers are able to see objects in the game as three-dimensional holograms that appear in physical space.

They signify how the barrier between the gaming world and the real world is dramatically shrinking. Recent crazes like Pokemon Go demonstrate the appeal of this to a mass market.

  1. Augmented Reality Swimming Goggles

Another great gift for an AR enthusiast is a pair of augmented reality goggles. Particularly well suited for techies that also have a passion for swimming, these goggles display real-time fitness data that the swimmer can view while still swimming.

The metrics they give include pace, stroke rate, split time, number of laps, distance, calories, and heart rate. It’s an impressive amount of fitness data presented in an innovative and practical way. Being in touch with real-time fitness data without having to stop swimming will be a gamechanger for many techies and competitive swimmers alike.


That’s likely why they were included in GiftWits’s list of gifts for techies, one of their many claims to fame. Another benefit is that unlike some other AR gifts, they can encourage the user to be fit and active.

  1. Google Glass

Many people who have never even heard of augmented reality will be familiar with Google Glass. A product that fell victim to a counterproductive marketing campaign that made the public see them as elitist, Glass still succeeded in creating a product that encapsulated some of the most exciting elements of AR.

Since their initial launch flopped miserably due to this misguided marketing strategy, Glass has found a new home with many enterprise users that don’t care as much about its brand as they do about its utility.

Although Google has targeted primarily enterprise users for its launch of Glass 2, it’s still available for purchase online. It makes for a great gift for an AR enthusiast that doesn’t care too much about any stigma it might still have and instead focuses on some of the innovative functionalities it brings to the table.

  1. Magic Leap One

The Magic Leap One is another powerful AR headset that many believe went beyond the Hololens in providing amazingly lively 3D graphics and holograms. The hardware of the device is truly impressive, and more applications are being developed for the headset on an ongoing basis.

The headset is in more of a beta phase currently, with relatively few applications being offered, but for a true technology evangelist that thrives on being an early adopter of innovative products, the Magic Leap One is a great choice.

According to Kate Huber at NJGamblingFun, “The downside of the Magic Leap One is that some of the applications and software are built for businesses and enterprise users. This closely relates to the other main downside of buying the Hololens as a gift, which is that its price will be prohibitive to some. The headset wears a price tag of about $3000 currently, although that’s likely to decrease with subsequent models, and its creators do offer a payment plan in which buyers purchase it through a monthly charge.”

  1. North Focals

Canadian startup North is offering a new AR product that ditches the headset setup. Instead, North Focals present as a normal pair of reading glasses while still offering some impressive AR applications and interfaces.p;

Like most AR products, they are still in an early phase, with new games and applications being developed. Nonetheless, the sleek form factor of North Focals is sure to stun any AR enthusiast, given that they also bring some impressive AR functionality to the table, including integration with Amazon’s Alexa.

If you’re looking for a lesser-known, and absolutely stunning AR-oriented gift, North Focals are definitely worth considering.

The field of AR is still in its infancy and rapidly growing, so it would be an understatement to say there will be more fantastic products and applications on the horizon. A great way to keep an eye on developing trends is to find a good source of tech news and events.

For now, though, we hope this list can offer you some good gift ideas for the augmented reality enthusiast in your life.