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Augmented Reality is here – some good apps to try

Alex Christie

3 February 2010

I really like augmented reality. What is augmented reality? Well I’ll let Wiki define it here. If you don’t like that explanation, let me try to put it in my words; it’s a term coined up by somebody, used to describe any technology that superimposes digital information and graphics over the real world.

If you still don’t get it, well think of military binoculars or latest digital SLR cameras. It’s kinda like the data, such as distance, or some setting, superimposed to your field of view. Or even a fighter head-up display.

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With video technology being made available to the masses in the shape of mobiles phones, augmented technology has really taken off in the last twelve months.

Today, many of the genuinely useful ones can be found on the iphone as apps, but you need the iphone with video and 3G:

So, some popular iPhone apps for navigation are:

Nearest Tube: which shows Londoners where the nearest tube station is

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Cyclopedia: which is a cool travel guide/encyclopaedia, which describes famous landmarks around you

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Bionic Eye: a handy map for finding local eateries and coffee shops. So, if feel peckish, this iphone app will guide you to the nearest favourite food outlet.

Sky Walk: a star map for stargazers. Great for making sure you don’t confuse a star for a planet, a plane, or even a UFO.

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Augmented Reality is not only good for navigation, but it’s good for the forgetful, check out iPhone apps:

Car Locator: which reminds you where you parked your car.

Tat Aumented Id: to remind you who you are talking to, and more.

It’s also good for the silly. Check out following iPhone apps:

iPew: where you can shoot your least favourite person with all sorts of imaginary arsenal of weapons.

MagiCam: where you can add imaginery props around you.

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Augmented reality is great and I think there is a lot of untapped potential in the use of it. It’s clearly great for search in the real world, it’s useful, and it’s also a lot of fun.

I look forward to seeing how people come up with enhanced reality with augmented reality in the next twelve months

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