Augmented reality is the secret to solving that pesky Rubik’s Cube

Solving a Rubik’s Cube isn’t exactly easy, but soon anyone will be able to master the tricky handheld puzzle in no time at all – with a little help from AR.

Because they’re so damn tricky, there’s no shortage of documented methods for solving a standard 3×3 Rubik’s Cube puzzle, but most require a fair bit of effort, as a degree of memorisation is involved.

Feeling lazy? Clever clogs student Martin Španěl can help.

He’s designed a piece of software that utilises augmented reality to allow anyone to solve the cube almost instantly. The Java program first gleans information from a camera, which scans the faces of the cube to identify the current alignment of all the blocks.

Once it’s got the necessary dirt on the puzzle, the AR element kicks in and shows you how to solve it using the popular Kociemba method – meaning you’ll have it sorted in just 20 twists.

Of course, the software isn’t overly fancy at present. In fact, it’s so alpha that he hasn’t yet released the source code, though he promises to do so on his website when it’s ready.

He’s anticipating to have a more stable version ready by autumn, with future improvements potentially including the ability to recognise when you’ve made a wrong move, and support for more solving methods.

The video below shows it in action and, even if little comes of the project, it’s certainly one of the more interesting thesis projects we’ve seen.

Image credit: Flickr

How many hours of your life have you lost trying to solve a Rubrik’s Cube? Let us know in the comments below.