The elves are back for the holidays and this year they’re bringing a bit of augmented reality along with them.
The annual ElfYourself app update from Office Depot dips a bit into AR for a couple of its new dances this season.
The mobile app, which allows people to elf themselves by quickly adding faces of up to five family members or friends, shows elves dancing around to a number of tunes.
The catch is that only one of them is free, the rest require an in-app payment of 99 cents each, or $6 for all 19.
For many people, the main free dance tune may be enough.
The augmented reality feature also costs an additional 99 cents, but then the dancing elves can appear on the floor in front of you. The preview feature for all the paid aspects at least show what you’ll be getting for the money.
The added augmented reality, hardly as smooth as in killer AR apps like Pokémon Go, takes a few steps to get going, including scoping an area with the phone camera where you want to see the dancing occur, before the AR kicks in.
Then the personalized elf dancers appear and dance, at least for a few seconds in the preview, which provides a good idea of what it does.
I’m expecting that next year there will be a more advanced and full-blown AR experience included with the app, if it comes back yet again.
Meanwhile, the free dance tune provided with the very easy ability to add your friends faces to them, should provide enough smiles over the holidays.
Since its creation back in 2006, consumers have customized well over 1 billion elves and played more than 550 million sessions globally.
That’s a lot of smiles.