You can now use your iPhone 3GS’ camera to help you find the nearest bus stop, as the transportation agency of Portland, Ore., has teamed with Metaio to use augmented reality to help you get around.
Metaio’s iPhone app, Junaio, can now be used to access real-time schedules for the next bus. It’s interesting because you just hold up your phone and the information will be overlaid on your phone’s view of the world. It will also include points of interest, look for schedules nearby and you can also get an estimated arrival time.
“Augmented reality intuitively lays out transit information for our riders,” said Bibiana McHugh, IT manager for Portland’s TriMet (the regional agency), in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to have the augmented reality channel as another means of helping our riders get to their destinations.”
Junaio has already previously partnered with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the San Francisco area and you can check out a demonstration of this in the video embedded at the bottom of the post. The app is only available on the iPhone 3Gs because of the digital compass but it will soon be coming to capable Android devices like the Droid Incredible. The augmented reality browser is not just for transportation, as it recently added more categories to find restaurants, geo-tag Twitter updates and more.
So, we’re entering an era where your smartphone is becoming incredibly, well, smart. Augmented reality apps like this have the potential to not only blow our minds but also make our lives more productive. One of the big problems I see is that there’s no centralized repository of content, so the information in Junaio may differ from what’s in Layar, even if the end user is in the exact same location. Google plans to turn its visual search engine Goggles into a platform, which could create some useful data for many players.
Junaio (free) – [iTunes Link]