Augmented Reality (AR) appeared on the iPhone a few months ago as an experiment. Some iPhone apps are now offering practical apps in various fields and particularly in the travel industry.
Helpful information is super-imposed onto ones iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, allowing the person to get a snapshot of all the points of interest in any given area.
Its a new journey with AR and this technology offers exciting opportunities for travelers:
• Better understanding of the environment abroad
• A quick snapshot of points of interest in the area (museums, monuments, restaurants, subway stations …)
• An easy and useful guide around the city (no need to read a map)
Characteristics of a good Augmented Reality application include:
• Operation without a connection (using roaming abroad is extremely expensive)
• Not limit to display the names of landmarks and their distances from the screen (to avoid going back and forth between multiple screens, which can be annoying over time)
• Augmented reality must be connected to a comprehensive directory of points of interest in order to show a true snapshot
A travel guide for iPhone that integrates augmented reality, for example, allows a traveler to view the restaurants around the area, display their distances, the types of cuisine, price ranges, the ratings given by travelers, whether a point of interest is open or closed, etc …. and therefore making an informed restaurant choice within a few seconds. Very convenient!
Here is a clip of augmented reality in the mTrip Paris Travel Guide: