I’ve never really been able to get behind the whole augmented reality thing. I tried it with the Yelp iPhone app once while I was on vacation in a large city, but it hasn’t really changed my life in any way. If there’s any platform I can see augmented reality really taking off, it’s on smartphones.
The developers at Crossfader have released something really cool: an augmented reality layer for Maps on the iPhone. Both Apple and Google Maps are supported, and the app itself is totally free.
The official description makes it sound pretty complicated:
After you decide on a destination, set it as your desired destination and perform a route search. Display the direction or route to your destination and simply hold up the iPhone to intuitively read the map. Perform a transfer search to your destination, and perform another route search from your exit station.
In addition, you can share your current location and destination by email with another AR Map user, which is handy for setting up a meeting spot at a first-time location or during travel.
You can set the destination from an address or station name in GoogleLocal Search. Of course you can also search for places like a public restroom or movie theater.
AR-MAPS uses your iPhone’s GPS, compass and gyroscope info to assemble an augmented reality view through your camera. That feed is then superimposed and displayed above or on top of a traditional maps layout. Points of interest are displayed as pins with location info as you look through your iPhone’s camera.
The app’s interface leaves much to be desired, and the instructions could definitely be simplified. But this is still a cool idea, and it’s neat that AR-MAPS is being offered for free. Here’s a video demo of how it works: