Meet Ingress, your new augmented reality obsession

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Hack alien portals in your own neighborhood.
Hack alien portals in your own neighborhood.
Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I went outside for the first time today. Working at home is an easy way to get a bad case of couchlock, so I like to try and get out for little 15 minute breaks when I can.

Today was a bit different. I downloaded and installed a game some buddies of mine are raving about on Facebook: Ingress.

I launched the app, followed the instructions, and was hooked. What started as a 15 minute walk to try out a new mobile game became a 45-minute obsession as I roamed my neighborhood, looking for portals to hack, collecting XMP particles to power my technological takeover, and finding a little feature of my ‘hood I’d never known about before.

Want to get obsessed about a new game? Want to maybe get in a little better shape? Be sure to download Ingress and see what everyone’s talking about.

Apple snatches up augmented reality company Metaio

Apple is diving into AR.
Apple is diving into AR.
Photo: Metaio

Apple has finalized an acquisition for the augmented reality company Metaio in a move that could soon bring the German firm’s AR tech to iOS and other Apple devices.

Metaio, which specializes in creating augmented reality tools for other businesses as well as other computer vision solutions, mysteriously announced last night that it would stop selling its services, but filings with the German government reveal that the company has transferred all of its shares over to Apple.

Take a look at their incredible tech in action:

Apple snaps up company with expertise in GPS and self-driving cars

TomTom will continue to power Apple Maps.
New acquisition could be a major part of Apple's future roadmap. No pun intended.
Photo: Apple

Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Coherent Navigation, a GPS company with expertise in mapping and self-driving vehicles.

Founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation is one of the leading companies behind what is known as High Integrity GPS or — appropriately enough for Apple — iGPS. Unlike regular GPS, which is accurate only within meters, iGPS’ high level of accuracy means it can provide geographic positioning data within centimeters.

What Westeros would look like in Apple Maps

The Lands of Always Winter look like my backyard. Photo: MongoLife/Etsy
The Lands of Always Winter look like my backyard. Photo: MongoLife/Etsy

Let’s just leave aside the obvious Apple Maps jokes and focus on how cool this Etsy user’s Westeros map is.

It’s the continent where the war, sex and epic political conniving takes place in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, made to look like a modern map you might find on your iPhone or Mac.

How cool is that?

Apple wants Siri to give you navigation instructions like a human

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Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon.
Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Getting direction from a computer sucks, but that could soon change based on a new patent filed by Apple for “Humanized Navigation Instructions for Mapping Applications.

Rather than receiving instructions from an emotion-less robot, Apple’s new patent would make Siri’s turn-by-turn directions sound more like they’re coming from your buddy in the passenger seat by mixing in references to restaurants and landmarks.

Here’s some examples you might here, instead of just being told “in 500 feet, turn right”: