Augmented Reality Utility Applications
There are a number of utility applications available for smart phone on the market. Applications like Layar, Wertago, and Popcode use augmented reality to give valuable information to the user. Layar gives the user information about what businesses are within the camera’s view. Layar uses the phone’s GPS to pin-point the user’s position on the map. It then combines business data from the internet with the view from the phone’s camera, and displays the result on the phone’s screen.
Wertago uses the phone’s GPS data, business data from the internet, subscriber’s social networking data, and other subscriber’s posts to recommend business establishments. It also allows users to post where they are, and what is going on at that business. The application aims to provide the user with up-to-the-minute information about the restaurant, bar, or other establishment the user is considering patronizing. The user now has the opportunity to evaluate the clientele, services, and establishment prior to walking through the door.
The Popcode application allows the user to view augmented test and pictures. In other words, view a Popcode enabled picture with your phone’s camera, and the Popcode application adds digital content to the view. Popcode can be used on any printed material from advertising to t-shirts to instructions for putting furniture together. For instance, an assembly manual for a shelf unit could be encoded so that when the user points his phone’s camera at the instructions, a more detailed image can be shown with moving parts. Popcode was developed by Cambridge University to show that augmented reality can be achieved with simple plain-text input read from the phone’s camera. There are no bar-codes to read or anything of that nature.