ZooKazam is a beautiful augmented reality app

ZooKazam (free for a limited time) is a terrific augmented reality app. You print out a target from the Zookazam website, put it on a flat surface, and point your iPhone at it. You'll see a 3D animal moving in real time. Circle the animal, and you'll see it from every angle in very smooth renderings. Change the weather to heavy rain, and rain falls out of the virtual sky. Kids and adults will both get a real thrill out of this app.

I've seen some similar apps in the past, but ZooKazam renderings are very realistic, and the shadows are consistent as you move around the object. The virtual animals aren't limited to the printed target. I watched ladybugs wander around my desk and fly in the air.

When printing the target, a black and white printer will work just fine even though the images appear in color. Because the app needs a high resolution camera, the developers strongly recommend an iPhone 5, 5s or 5c.

Once your virtual animal begins wandering around, you can grab a video or a still of it to share with others. That's a nice touch. The app has some educational value as well, since there are spoken descriptions of the animals included.

Animals include deer, bugs, a T-Rex and more. It is astonishing to see these animals move around your desk. Kids would be fascinated with this app, but adults will certainly be impressed at what can be done on an iPhone with some clever programming.

If you're interested, grab this app while it is free. If you miss the sale, grab ZooKazam lite which will give you a single animal to play with.

Another interesting AR app is ARBasketball, which lets you play a virtual basketball game at your desk. Again, you'll have to print a target.

ZooKazam requires iOS 7 or later, and as I mentioned earlier, it is going to do best on an iPhone 5.