Website Design, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO, Susan Pomeroy, Ph.D.

Postscript: Augmented Reality Now, on Your iPhone

by Susan Pomeroy

Wikitude's online interface for adding geo-tagged content

When I wrote about augmented reality the other day, I was assuming that AR was still a short way in the future. I was wrong! “Collaborative annotation of the physical world.” That’s what Marshall Kirkpatrick describes in his October 2 NY Times blog. And it’s here, today, right now—if you own an iPhone 3GS.

Several augmented reality iPhone apps have been released:

DA Transit, for finding rail, light rail, and subway information in the U.S. The company notes that the information is available via various interfaces: superimposed on the video screen above stops, on a map, or as a listing.

Cyclopedia (web link)(iTunes link), an app which selects any of the 65,000 Wikipedia entries that have been geotagged (encoded with locational data), and then uses your own location, a compass orientation, and a range setting to superimpose this information onto your iPhone screen.

Wikitude uses location information from Wikipedia, from the international review site Qype, and from Wikitude’s own info entry interface at These bits of information, including your own and others’ notes on a place, appear in “bubbles” on your iPhone screen as you look at nearby objects.

Another app, from Layar, has just been submitted to Apple for review. It’s currently available on Google’s Android phone, but is not, in Kirkpatrick’s words, “mindblowing.”

And a side note. Here’s one forecast I didn’t make the other day: will the new immediacy of user reviews bring back customer service? If every business has to, in effect, post a placard in their window listing customers’ reviews and reactions, perhaps a new era of caring and service will commence. We can hope!

Further note: for very good ongoing coverage of trends in augmented reality, check out the “Augmented Reality” category on the blog


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