We used to date

My first experience with Augmented Reality, or AR, was when I got my first iPhone in 2008. There was a novelty factor about holding up the phone, using the camera to see around you, and have information pop up on the screen showing the nearest McDonald’s. I say novelty because I never became a regular user. I read about apps that help you find stops for the New York and London subways systems, but I’ve never been to London and rarely visit New York. I lost track with what was going on with AR. Lately, however, I’ve been coming across articles about new apps using AR that show the field is developing in potentially cool ways. The photo above is from the app “Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary.” It shows a ghost-like demon in my condo. You play the game through your iPhone in your neighborhood, or wherever you want. You can go on missions or explore the augmented weirdness around you. The game can connect you with other players, so if the game becomes a hit, you will see massive displays of geosocial geekiness on the streets. I need to spend more time with the app to give it a proper evaluation. If nothing else, you can take pictures of the apparitions (apart from the usual freaks) lurking in your local supermarket. Here are some other apps I’ve been testing:


This screen shot above is from Wikitude, which shows many of the restaurants, stores, museums, etc., that are around you. What caught my attention was the YouTube feature, which shows videos uploaded in your area. I don’t know how precise it is, but don’t assume people can’t find you the next time you upload a fetish video.

Stay away from the blue men!

Layar is another app showing an interesting mix of crime reports, apartment listings, photos, and street art, among other things. Layar also has a feature that lets you see what San Francisco looked like a century ago from where you are in the city. Hopefully that feature will be expanded to other cities soon.

And finally, a glimpse of the future of AR apps: