Augmented reality: The future or just a craze?

By Sergio González | 14:11


Augmented reality is so simple and mind-blowing that it seems to belong to a far away future century, but it’s here to stay and improving every single day.  With AR, the real world gets improved by computer generated graphics and all sorts of useful info, displayed on your smartphone, tablet, car’s windshield or glasses. It’s going to make Minority Report gadgets look old-fashioned. The basics are simple, but are the techniques? 

The travel industry has been one of the fastest sectors in adopting augmented reality, simply because it’s a perfect match. It enhances navigation, touring around unknown places and the whole traveling experience, adding tech value in every step and making it way cooler.

When we travel, we usually want to know what this monument is or who painted that picture we’re loving, but travel guides -even digital ones- are slow and show tons of info we may not care for. Augmented reality doesn’t, it shows you what you ask for, beautifully and quickly. Most current AR apps also work offline, so roaming charges are out of the question. One of the best performances of AR so far is for sightseeing at our favourite places the way they were.

What about seeing your favourite films in the exact location they were taken, exactly where you are? Welcome to augmented reality cinema.

Do you value other users’ opinions and reviews about the restaurant you’re deciding to eat out at or where to sleep? Forget logging in and scrolling down to find these useful data, augmented reality traveling apps display this useful information too.

We love visiting big thriving metropolis cities but who can’t resist a trip to the wild, a romantic night under a clear starry sky? Whether you’re keen on astronomy or trying to impress your date, Google Skymap app lets you know about the stars, planets or constellations your camera is pointing at, in real time. Ever tried to look for Mars but couldn’t find it? Just type it and a compass on your screen will lead your way.

For iOS users there are some other cool augmented astronomy apps –GoSkyWatch or extremely accurate StarWalk–  maybe not as smooth as Google’s but with a good visual display.

Augmente Reality exhibit at MOMA NY

One of the most promising AR apps was World Lens, depicted as the ultimate translator (French, Spanish and Italian languages from and to English). The idea seems ambitious: just pointing your camera at any song or menu, it not only translates the text, but over the original place it was written; it would be pretty awesome, if it worked.

Not sure  what you think about a promotional video which already has a lot of grammar mistakes, making it a poor representation of the product, and, according to the level of annoyance shown in the App Store by paying users, they’d rather go back to Beta testing. We face the same problem with AR money converters, they display beautifully computer graphics, but exchange rate is generally inaccurate.

Truth is AR is here, but still under huge development. Its future it’s promising and if we all want to enjoy it asap, we can help. Download these AR apps, even the ones that don’t work properly, and send as much feedback to its developers as you can. They will appreciate it, and in return, they’ll come back with a better solution.

Photo credit: sndvr

  • posted by Naomi Mikael Perez-C | 12 January 2013, 2:35,

    This is some of the appreciation has been updated, the fact that the great blog, the highest quality source you want to share.

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  • posted by Courtney Imel | 25 January 2013, 13:13,

    Hi Naomi! Thanks for the comment! Have you used any of these augmented reality applications? 😉

  • By Trapped in aumented reality! | NH Hotels Blogs on 18 February, 2013 at 12:50

    […] smartphone you can cheer up your world just by downloading some cool augmented reality apps. AR brings tons of new experiences when travelling, such pointing your smartphone to some movie location to see an AR scene of the film shot there, […]

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