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Bring 'Minecraft' creations to life with augmented-reality app

Minecraft reality
The Minecraft Reality app.Mojang / 13th Lab

Building forts and objects in "Minecraft" may be fun, but sharing them with non-player friends can be difficult. A new augmented-reality iOS app lets you bring your blocky little creations to the real world, though it's a bit limited.

The app is called Minecraft Reality, and was developed by 13th Lab and "Minecraft" creator Mojang. Objects from the game can be brought in, or you can browse others already available. Then you drop them right into the scene wherever you happen to be.

Using what the developers call "Simultaneous Localization and Mapping," the device's camera gets a sense of the space around you, at which point you can adjust the "real world" position of your object — you could put a car at full size in a parking space, or at the size of a toy on your desk.

The app is still in beta, so the input process isn't very streamlined (you have to use the clunky website), and it may take some fiddling to get your creation positioned correctly. But it should get better, and once a few more people download and use the app, you'll be able to find objects and worlds others have placed.

Minecraft Reality is available now for $1.99 at the App Store. You'll need a fairly recent Apple device: An iPhone 4S, iPad 3, or anything later will do the trick.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is