Augmented Reality (or AR) has always been an impressive feature in Sci-Fi and Action Movies like Iron Man 3 or Transformers. Today, we often see it implemented in Applications as a gimmick or fun feature. Though, this kind of interaction with content has advantages compared to a regular browser. Since February 2011 I lead the creative direction for the world´s best AR Browser which now comes preinstalled on every new BlackBerry 9900 and is used by millions of users on other systems such as Google´s Android or Apple´s iPhone.
With such a big user base and years of experience behind the product, Wikitude offers a lot. You can discover a new city, be guided through an exhibition or even find your colleagues and friends around you. The information for all those interactions is aggregated from multiple sources such as Wikipedia, your personal address book or people you follow on Twitter. Those are some of the features why the Wikidute APP has been featured on Google´s Android Market and several other magazines and websites.
Once you downloaded the application onto your device you have access to millions of points of interests around you.
When you hear about Augmented Reality you might think of things like this great user interface pictured above (copyright by Jose Ortiz).
How are you able to use this mass of information effectively? Imagine you would have thousands of information blocks around you like Robert Downey Jr., how do you get to that particular detail you want to see? For me as the creative director the main goal is a literally augmented experience that is not based on maps (like you could have it with Google´s Map Application) or gimmick features such as the mentioned ego-shooter versions.
One of my favorite applications is the integrated BlackBerry Messenger we developed for the new Wikitude version that will be preinstalled on each new BlackBerry 9900 device. Get in touch with your friends in seconds and catch up with someone who lives in NYC or would like to explore the city with you.
Opening up for innovation
Instead of limiting the abilities with a Browser, the Wikitude Team just announced the ARchitect Developer Platform to use the high quality technology that has been developed and refined over 3 years in cooperation with the W3C. ARchitect has been announced (links to featured article on Wired Magazine) at the ARE in Santa Clara, USA earlier this month.
With so called “drawables” the mentioned points of interests can now be used as interaction elements for navigation, stores, games, social applications and about everything else you could think of.
Beside the new BlackBerry and Android Apps for Wikitude we just relaunched the new website for the company. Thanks to Benjamin Becker and Siebe Warmoeskerken for the photography assets and Wikitude for the great partnership so far! I will post more about this project in the next few weeks with updates, new releases and features.