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Augmented Reality: Your Phone + Virtual Reality

The invention of the iPhone seems to have spurred on a whole new world of possibilities.  Gone are the days where phones only capable of text and calling are good enough.  With smartphones now able to browse the internet like your computer, edit documents, and get you directions while showing all the traffic jams, what can a phone do next?

Augmented reality is a brilliant concept that connects reality and virtual reality to provide more information, faster, and more accurately.

WhatPhoto is it and what does it do?  Well, if you have an iPhone 3GS, you've already experienced this.  Yelp slipped this Easter egg into the new iPhone early (just shake your phone 3 times to unlock it).  Augmented reality is a combination of reality and computer created virtual reality.  Currently, pointing your phone down the street would just show you the street.

But, with augmented reality in Yelp's new app,  you would also see labels of businesses superimposed over the buildings.  Tap on the label, and you get the review, times it's open, and other information.  Yes — the possibilities are endless when a phone camera is combined with the existing GPS and operating system.

Twin According to Tech Crunch, the world's first augmented reality browser — Wikitude, is taking this one step further.  They want to create the Twin Towers as a virtual memorial to 9/11 through augmented reality.  Point your phone at the spot where the Twin Towers were, and you'll see the buildings once again through your camera lens. (Picture courtesy of Tech Crunch)

Wikitude Augmented Reality: WTC – Its not there but its there from Wikitude on Vimeo.

Regardless of whether your weapon of choice is an iPhone, Blackberry, or the Google Android, more and more smartphone apps are being created everyday.  With the demand for our phones to be better, faster, and to do more, it'll be interesting to see if the innovation for phones surpasses even the technology on our computers in the future.

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Friday, January 19, 2018