It’s not every day that we come across game-changing technologies. With the pace of development in the mobile world, it takes a lot of ingenuity to really capture our attention. Today we bring “augmented reality” to the forefront with Wikitude.
Developed for the Android OS that powers devices like the T-Mobile G1, Wikitude is a new Android application that takes the idea of “augmented reality” from drawing board to market. While “virtual reality” seeks to emulate the look and feel of real-world environments with a completely computer-generated experience. The premise behind “augmented reality,” on the other hand, is to meld real-life views with overlaid digital information.
Things never look as real in a virtual-reality as they do in real life. In an augmented-reality, information “tags” are superimposed upon images of real-world places and objects. Since augmented-reality technologies use real-life images, they can deliver a sensory experience that feels organic and “real.” There have been “augmented reality” applications in development for some time (most recently on the iPhone), so it was only a matter of time before the technology finally materialized. The tech has implications for all manner of social-driven applications – travel, social networking, communication, culture, the list goes on and on.
Wikitude aims at the mobile travel applications market. It displays Wikipedia information and Panoramio vistas in an “augmented reality.” GPS location determine the exact location of the handset, while the internal compass tells Wikitude the direction that the user is looking. The application then determines which Wikipedia and Panoramio landmarks are within eye-shot. The information is then overlaid on an Android smartphone’s display.
Augmented reality is one of the most significant technologies to hit the mobile space, and so we welcome Wikitude to the Android market!
Wikitude is available in the Android Market now.