Monday, September 14, 2009

Speaking of GPS...

On a similar topic as my last post about the occasional rudeness of GPS interfaces, here's a recent innovation featuring "Augmented Reality".

Metro Paris Subway iPhone and iPod Touch Application

What's augmented reality?

From Wikipedia:
"Augmented reality research explores the application of computer-generated imagery in live-video streams as a way to expand the real-world. A typical example of augmented reality is a video of a car whose part names are displayed with graphical labels, overlaid onto the image in correct positions (as if hovering in mid-air)."
And from Gizmodo, ("the gadget blog"), the augmented reality tag is chock-full of examples:

But it was this post on Gizmodo -- First Augmented Reality iPhone App Now Available For Paris Travelers -- that drew my attention to a very cool application of this technology for Paris, France Metro patrons. (Note: this video features French narration; even if you're not a francophone, you should be able to get the general idea.)

My only concern would be iPhone users running into each other searching for the nearest Metro stop. Plus it has several limitations: First, this app is only available for the Paris subway system; but to be sure, the idea will spread quickly to other cities and regions. Also, it requires the very newest model of iPhone, the 3GS.

Learn more about the developer, Presselite, and the application here: (in English)

The applications for overlaying real-time visual data with interpretive or up-to-date information are unlimited: travel, navigation, education, research, social interaction, and more.

How would you like to see this augmented reality technology used?

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