Monday, July 13, 2009

Augmented Reality Round-Up

Augmented Reality is a technology that blends computer data with real-time footage. I won't bother with a fuller description, if you don't know what AR is yet you can just watch any of the videos below.

We first reviewed an Augmented Reality application on Google Maps Mania early last year but with the recent release of Layar it seems that Augmented Reality is finally beginning to gain some momentum in the market place.

So it's time for a round-up:

Enkin.net
Enkin was the first augmented reality application (that I know of) to use the GPS and orientation sensors of a mobile phone to present an augmented view of the world through the phone's screen.

In essence Enkin seems to take place-marks that were created in Google Maps and overlay them on the view of the same location. The application was demoed (in the video below) early last year but unfortunately it seems that the product hasn't made it to the market.

Enkin from Enkin on Vimeo.

ARSights
ARSights is a cool tool that will allow users to visualize Google Earth 3D models using augmented reality. The site uses the Google Earth Browser plug-in to allow users to search for and download Google Earth 3D models.

Once you have downloaded a model all you need to do is run the ARSights application, set up your webcam and go. You will then be able to create awesome augmented reality videos like this:



Wikitude - AR Travel Guide

Wikitude, a mobile travel guide for Android phones based on location-based Wikipedia content, allows users to view 350,000 world-wide points of interest on a mobile phone. The application has been offering an augmented reality cam view since last year. Here's the video:



Layar Augmented Reality Application
Layar claim to be the world's first augmented reality browser (a claim that Wikitude might debate). Layar is available for the Android in the Netherlands. The company say they will also launch in Germany, the UK and the United States this year. For now you can check out the video,



TwitARound
What do you get if you combine the hottest website with the hottest new tech? The answer is TwitARound. TwitARound is an augmented reality Twitter viewer on the iPhone 3GS. It shows live tweets around your location on the iPhone's screen. You can see where the tweet comes from and how far away it is.



Nearest Tube AR
The latest AR application for the iPhone is this nearest tube finder for London. Using the application it is possible to see the nearest tube stations to your location, what direction they are in and how far away they are.


Hat-tip: I think I probably saw all of these AR applications reviewed first on the excellent Digital Urban.

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