In fact, augmented reality is here and, as evidenced by the launch of Nokia City Lens beta for Nokia Lumia, you don’t even need specialist eyewear to enjoy its many advantages.
All you need for augmented reality is an app on a phone but it really is a new dimension in the way we view information. It ticks a lot of boxes in a game of buzzword bingo: it’s location-aware, context-sensitive and operates dynamically in real time. But more importantly, at least for non-techies, augmented reality offers all of us a way to get more out of the moment, discovering the name and history of buildings and objects around us and leading us to interact with our environment in a very different way. Offices, bars, galleries, museums become labelled so we know when we have reached them, or we can discover something new and interesting without being an expert on the locale.
Augmented reality will change the way we interact with the real world, providing at-a-glance views of the world around us, what’s open and what’s on offer. It will provide a new way to examine what is around the corner and it will act as a magnet for suppliers that buy into it and compete for our attention. Augmented by a new layer of information we’ll see the world in more detail and be amazed by how much is going on around us.
Once you’ve used Nokia City Lens to take you to a post office to send a postcard home, wouldn’t you perhaps consider visiting a nearby cafe to grab a drink and a bite to eat – one you’d never otherwise have found? Or how about if you follow the app’s advice when you’re visiting Paris and instead of eating in your usual touristy haunts in the Left Bank it takes you to a place to eat in the Marais… where you discover a whole new nightlife you didn’t know about before?
Have you been discovering anything new with Nokia City Lens? Let us know in the comment section below.