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Smokers can get a virtual look at their dirty lungs

A new app from SapientNitro uses augmented reality to show what smoking does to your lungs.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng

Marketing and design company SapientNitro unveiled an app today that allows smokers to see exactly what cigarettes are doing to their lungs.

SapientNitro's AR Lungs application can provide a virtual simulation of a smoker's lungs using augmented reality. SapientNitro

The AR Lungs app uses augmented reality and a database of medically correct digital lungs to illustrate the effects of cigarettes. People point a Webcam or smartphone camera at their chest and see a superimposed image of the digital lungs.

Using sliders, a person can adjust how many cigarettes they smoke a day and for how long to get a visual representation of the damage and discoloration they've suffered. A nonsmoker, meanwhile, would see healthy, pink lungs.

The app was developed as an unconventional way of spreading the antismoking message. The company said it is using the potential of augmented reality to help raise disease awareness. The digital lungs paint a stark image of the consequences of smoking.

Computer users with a Webcam can check the app out for free here.