Well, hot on the heels of Pokemon GO's success comes MIT with one of the coolest AR projects we've ever seen. If not the coolest. The technology is called "Interactive Dynamic Video", and while you might be able to glean a bit about what it is from the name alone, you really need to see it in action to best appreciate it:
Taking an ordinary video, this IDV technology is able to detect objects and their manipulability from vibrations - yes, vibrations. This is done by establishing "vibration modes" at differing frequencies that helps the software give a flat object some substance. When the analysis is done, the object in the video can be poked and prodded.
In the example below, there's a wire character sitting atop a desk. During a five second recording, someone's hand bangs the surface to cause the character to vibrate - and this is all it takes to give the software the information it needs.
From this point, a user could use their mouse to click and drag different places on the character, and it will behave pretty much as you'd expect. Other examples are given of a jungle gym and even an entire bush - and the results, while not perfect, are downright awesome. Seriously. We'd love to play around with this tech right now.
The technology's creators see IDV being useful for architects and even film creators who can't afford expensive special effects - namely when it comes to character interactions with the world surrounding it. It sounds promising.