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Displays Input Devices

Augmenting Reality With Your Mobile Phone 111

blackbearnh writes "With the release of the 3.1 iPhone OS, application developers will finally be able to develop augmented reality (AR) apps. In other words, Terminator Vision is right around the corner. O'Reilly Media recently talked to Chetan Damani, one of the founders of Acrossair, about how they developed their new AR application, Nearest Tube, which displays the closest London Tube stations over a live video overlay on an iPhone 3GS. According to Damani, developing AR applications on the 3GS is dead easy, and the real trick will be developing good augmented reality apps. 'It's all about who's going to have the most amount of data and the most valid data. So there's the obvious types of apps which you're going to launch and those are the find me my nearest bar, find me my nearest event, find me the nearest tube stop, find me the nearest ATM. And those sorts of apps are all going to be around. But they're only going to be useful for when you're trying to look for things. So if we want to get users to use augmented reality a little bit more, we have to start introducing other bits of functionality, things like show me the offers available in a particular high street. Show me when I'm walking down a high street if there's a table available at a particular restaurant. And it's that sort of interactivity and providing that real-time data in this augmented reality view which is going to start getting people to use it a lot more rather than just for show me where the nearest area is.'"
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Augmenting Reality With Your Mobile Phone

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  • Already on Android? (Score:5, Informative)

    by abies ( 607076 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @12:17PM (#29218263)

    http://layar.com/press-release-layar-reality-browser-announces-global-launch-and-new-features-in-the-latest-release/ [layar.com]

    It seems that Android already got something from the next generation of AR applications (multi-topic, interactive). They hope to port it to iPhone soon. It looks to be considerably more advanced compared to what is given in original story.

  • by Rhaban ( 987410 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @12:21PM (#29218325)

    Wikitude [wikitude.org], while not as advanced as layar, is available since october 2008 with similar features.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 27, 2009 @12:34PM (#29218527)

    What Apple and the new iPhone lets you do is to augmented reality what jumping from a high place is to flying.

    Apple still completely locks access to the video. So basically, it allows you to display something over the video, yay! But there is absoolutely no tracking possible, the information most of those AR applications use tends to mostly be limited to compass or GPS. The nearest subway application fore example just uses GPS and gyroscope information to print an arrow over your video, but it is as much AR as what the google maps application already provided. The video is just a ice animated background, but provides zero information, the application works EXACTLY the same way with your finger on the camera lens.

    More interesting tracking or "Terminator Vision" would require Apple to allow you to actually access the video data for any kind of post-processing treatment to occur, which they're still blocking so far. So if you want to see some augmented reality, i'd watch towards Android rather than Apple, whose SDK and appstore policies are starting to become more than a little tiresome.

  • The voyeur app (Score:2, Informative)

    by RemoWilliams84 ( 1348761 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @12:42PM (#29218657)

    Show me which of these girls in skirts isn't wearing underwear.

    Then, show me where to hide so I can take pics with my iPhone.

  • by S3D ( 745318 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @01:24PM (#29219271)
    You can't have non-trivial mobile video tracking in java - I mean anything more than unstable tracking of single rectangle. Android native code kit - NDK have some promise, but camera class access still not officially supported in NDK. As I understand you can still use it, unofficially, but you can have unofficial access to camera API in iPhone as well.
  • Re:what we need (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 27, 2009 @01:36PM (#29219491)

    I'm pretty sure that tube means subway station, thats what they call it in england. They also make sure to tell you to "MIND THE GAP", which means to look out for the space inbetween the train and the station, but for some reason people have started putting it on underwear.

  • Re:Impressive. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tyr_7BE ( 461429 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @02:35PM (#29220411)

    It's news when something is invented that runs on a smart phone. And then it's news all over again when Apple copies it. I'll never understand that.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp