Time Magazine recently recognized augmented reality as one of the 10 key tech trends in 2010
First a little explanation : augmented reality (AR) adds information to the world you see around you. Augmented reality applications on your mobile phone for example, let you view the world around you through your camera by providing images or information depending on where you are and what you’re pointing your phone at.
Augmented reality applications are ideal for traveling. Above you see a nice example of AR: you point your phone at the street (in this case, Madrid), and it tells you exactly where the nearest metro station is.
Benji Lanyado of the Guardian explains it much than I can in words in this video.
We launched a Layar application a few months ago (UK daily The Daily Telegraph published an interesting article today, also mentioning our Layar application). Also Unlike and Last Minute recently also launched applications.
Of course there are also downsides of augmented reality:
- AR applications use a lot of data – and abroad this is usually expensive. Fortunately, the EU is going to do something about that
- AR applications don’t work on all mobile devices. However, this is changing rapidly.
- Some people think you look completely ridiculous using it. On the other hand, so did all mobile phone users in 1995….