Turn Pictures into AR Video with HP Live Photo

Sure, you can upload that goofy video you just took to plenty of social media sites – but that’s a little lame. What about printing out your video? Say whaaa? That’s what HP Live Photo is all about – a free iOS app that allows you view and make your photos launch to personal videos using Aurasma’s augmented reality technology.  Keep reading to learn more how HP Live Photo works and how you can help make it even more awesome.


When HP Live Photo first popped up in the iOS app store, it caught my attention….and, really, it’s a free download – so why not?!?! The idea of being able to upload a video, print up a picture and easily create my own pieces of AR sounded sweet as hell to me, so I needed to check this out for myself.


First, lemme show you how easy it is to get this done (after you install the app and connect it to your Facebook account, of course)


  1. You select a video and compress / upload it to the Live Photo servers.
  2. The app pulls a still frame from the video to use as the trigger image.
  3. Pick a template
  4. Share (you have the option to email a link to share the photo, print it from within the app via AirPrint or you can share it on Facebook).

After that, it’s simple a matter of looking at the image you’ve printed up – or display on-screen – through the Live Photo app on your smartphone. Then you’ll see the video jump to life. It’s an advanced image-recognition algorithm that basically looks for distinct features within the photo. And that Blue origami bird in the image? It helps the user figure out which photo is live vs. which photo isn’t “Live.” It’s a really neat experience when you see it for yourself.


You know what? Why not give you a taste right here?


Just print up this demo photo I’m posting below or aim your smartphone’s camera at this image and use the Live Photo app’s “View” mode. The experience isn’t nearly as cool if you’re aiming your camera at a monitor, but hey, do what you have to do. Only catch being that you'll have to friend me on facebook in order to see the AR in action. So there's that.


(If you're not already my friend on Facebook, ProTip: I'm the "Darren Gladstone" that works at HP. ;p)


Go on, I’ll wait for ya….


test hp live photo.jpg


Pretty neat, right?


“We like to think of the app right now as an open beta. We have a larger roadmap of where we’d like to take HP Live Photo, but this is a starting point,” says Elaine Yuan, Keeper of Live Photo’s secret sauce (actual title: Product Manager – Future Innovations).


A couple things that I found interesting with how the app works: First, you need a high-speed data connection to view the AR video (AT LEAST 3G connectivity). That means you could create your own AR treasure maps in the real world and even if you only get 3G speeds, it still works. I also like how from within the app you can easily select how you want to share your images…the app doesn’t automatically blast everything to Facebook. And when you do post, only your Facebook friends can see the video that the photo launches.  (But Elaine says that the team is looking to enable public sharing in the future – so that you can freely share with people that aren’t in your Facebook network.) OK, ok, so I work inside the HP bubble – I could be a little biased. What do other people think of the tech so far?


Attendees who saw the app in action at Macworld couldn’t believe their eyes, according to Elaine.  “How did you do that?” Or “What just happened with the photo?” were among the general reactions she got. Or, as one blogger summed it up: “The fact that HP has brought AR to normal everyday consumers is the big story here. The applications is really a Trojan horse. Seed the consumers and let the marketers go crazy. Now imagine, you can take your phone and hover a magazine or train station poster and launching a video. Movie marketers take note. Give this app a try.”


Elaine has confirmed that other OS platforms are on the roadmap – Android being the next, big choice. And there’s the idea that this technology could be applied to pictures bigger than the 4x6-inch templates. How about a giant billboard with an animated video clip that jumps off sign when you aim your phone at it?


Me? There’s one big thing I’m hoping (though unconfirmed) could be on the roadmap: I would love to be able to choose the trigger image that activates the video. Right now, it’s a still from the video clip. I’d like that video to be a complete surprise.

But, hey, that’s me. Who am I to complain with a free app that will improve and build in more features (and more OSes) over time?


This is where you guys come in - How would you like to be a part of the open beta and give us feedback? It’s simple, really.  Just grab the app from the iOS app store, use it and let Elaine and her team know what you think. Share your feedback below in the comments or email them at hplivephotofeedback@hp.com.

Search The Next Bench
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
About the Author