If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat or find a bar to wash away your misery, odds are that you have several applications at your disposable that all do the same thing, which is to display a list of places, ordered by distance, that you can visit. One of the more popular applications to locate these points of interest is Yelp, which has a strong American presence, but is somewhat lacking in international markets. Back in August 2009 they released an iPhone app with an easter egg that allowed you to hold your device in front of you, showing you the world as the camera sees it, but overlaid with places reviewed on their website. This is called augmented reality. Nearly 2 years later the folks at Nokia Beta Labs are releasing the same thing, and they’re calling it “Nokia Live View”. Now we’re not bringing up the Yelp example to display Nokia’s glacial pace of software development, there are plenty of other delayed and canceled software projects that demonstrate that even more beautifully. No, we’re bringing up Yelp to ask why hasn’t the augmented reality user interface paradigm taken off?
First, no one likes looking an idiot, and there’s no better way to do that than to stand in the middle of the street, impeding pedestrian traffic while spinning around in a circle like a puppy who just discovered it has a tail, just to find the closest Chinese restaurant. Despite Bluetooth hands free headsets being around for ages, there’s still a social stigmata associated with them thanks to the hordes of business men walking down the street appearing to be shouting at no one. What makes you think augmented reality is going to be more accepted? Second, people don’t visit random places anymore, they go places recommended by friends or places who issue a special offer via sites such as Groupon. It’s much easier to scroll through those in a list. And third, battery life. It’s bad enough you’re using GPS to find your exact location and then activating the 3G radio to pull down a list of places to go, think loading up the camera is going to make your smartphone last any longer?
[Via: All About Symbian]