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Augment my reality?

Augmented reality applications are gaining quite the buzz when it comes to mobile devices like the iPhone and Android smartphones.  These applications use the phones video camera and overlay information about what you see on the screen.  Using GPS to pinpoint your location and a compass to determine which direction your phone is facing, the application can determine what is near your location for displaying on the screen.  This overlay can include anything from real estate listings to the nearest McDonalds.

So to better describe what my words can’t, here is a screen shot of the Metro Paris iPhone app.  This application provides users with the locations of the nearest subway stations in their area along with nearby businesses.

Métro Paris application

Métro Paris application

Here is a video of the application in action (its in French but shows all of the apps functionality).

For museums this technology could provide a new experience for a visitor.  Not only could they see the wonderful works of art but it would allow them to view more information about each work just by pointing their cell phone camera.  Maybe an ArtBabble video is displayed or some expanded information about the creator.  Or what if it pointed the visitor in the direction of every work by a particular artist they were interested in?

A lot of people probably are thinking, ‘I’m not going to hold up my phone and walk around like that.’ but it has to be safer than texting while walking.  Just watch out for open manholes in the street.

This technology is still very new and as our mobile devices continue to get more powerful these applications should become more powerful as well.  So keep an eye out for these applications as more are getting developed every day and developers are just starting to get acquainted with the new technology.

Filed under: Technology

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