SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -- Augmented reality, where real life is annotated with information, has long been the stuff of science fiction, like flying cars and the paperless office. But suddenly, an augmented reality applications is available on Android, Google's cell phone platform.
A company called Mobilizy is working on a project called Wikitude AR Travel Guide, which is an augmented reality application for Google Android-based phones. I don't have a lot of information beyond the video at the bottom of this post. My guess is that even though it's available, the application is probably not fully mature and robust.
How it works, no doubt, is that the cell phone's GPS pinpoints the phone's location, then an internal compass tells the phone which direction the phone is pointed. Using that data, whichever of the 350,000 "points of interest" in the global database are visible are identified on-screen.
But I'm certain that augmented reality will one day go mainstream. Imagine a world that is indexed and searchable, and where you can point your cell phone at anything and get the Wikipedia entry on it.
It's also likely that there will be a social element to all this. Like the Wikipedia itself, people will contribute the identification of real-world objects by snapping pictures of them and feeding them into a database somewhere, no doubt owned by Google.
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