It’s beyond virtual reality. iPhone currently has 3 Augmented Reality apps available in their App store.
If you’re not familiar with augmented reality (nicknamed AR), it’s basically technology that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. (Doesn’t that sound eerie? Very Matrix-like.)
With augmented reality, you’re overlaying computer graphics onto the real world whether it’s text, images, or whatever. In the iPhone sense, this means that these 3 AR apps incorporate layers of data on top of the camera view on the iPhone. AR uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation and compass to display businesses, restaurants and bars on top of the camera view. You can look through the camera on your iPhone and see blocks of text or images hovering around your real-life environment. It’s pretty neat.
Right now the 3 AR apps available are:
1. Metro Paris Subway: While you’re looking through your iPhone camera, images of Paris businesses near you will pop up, along with the distance it takes to arrive there (in both meters and miles!).
2. London Buses: Using this bus-tracking app now pulls up “Point of Interest” databases which allows the user to see food & drink, leisure, attractions and accommodation POIs all over the UK.
And for those residing in the US…
3. Yelp: On the latest version of this app, users have to shake their iPhone 3 times to access this Easter egg feature called “the monocle.” (Well officially the site says shake 3 times but watching other people trying to open the monocle resulted in watching people viciously shake their phone for what seemed like 10 minutes. Since shaking the iPhone for so long can get frustrating, the good news is once you unlock the monocle it will be there forever so it’s a one-time thing.) (more…)