Augmented Reality Translations: Word Lens vs. Google Goggles

A new iPhone translation app, called Word Lens, is turning heads by showing how the power of augmented reality can be applied to real-time translation. But doesn’t Google do this with Goggles? I took them both for a quick spin to see how they stack up.

Augmented Reality Finds a Place to Fit: Shopping!

Augmented reality still seems more of a solution in search of a problem to some, but two promising applications show how virtual reality can bring real-world value. Trying on virtual clothes and shoes could be the killer application for augmented reality to hit its stride.

Layar Augments Reality With $14M in New Funding

Layar, creator of a mobile augmented reality (AR) platform, today announced $14 million in funding led by Intel Capital. The funds will be used for three purposes, all of which are meant to create “augmented reality experiences to people’s everyday lives,” says Maarten Lenz-FitzGerald of Layar.

Lookator: Android Hotspot Detector Using AR

Augmented reality is one of those technologies that has always appealed to me, but without a practical application I can use. That changed since installing Lookator for Android, a Wi-Fi hotspot detector that uses AR to show the location of the hotspots in the real world.

Patent Describes Co-Located Laser Tag Gaming for iPhone

A new patent filed by Apple called “Interactive Gaming with Co-Located, Networked Direction and Location Aware Devices” describes new possibilities for iPhone gaming in the real world. Essentially, the tech described would use players’ iPhones to recreate what amounts to a game of laser tag.

If You Can’t Beat ’em With GPS, Just Add Augmented Reality!

Navigon today introduced its MobileNavigator software, which brings GPS navigation to Google Android phones in the U.S. With such a similar feature set to Google’s free Navigation solution for Android, how can Navigon compete with a $40 app? By combining augmented reality with points of interest.

Augmented Reality or Futuristic Invasion of Privacy?

A new iPhone and Android app called “Sex Offender Tracker” uses augmented reality to show you the location of any registered offenders who are in your area when you hold up your phone. What happens when this kind of app pulls up other info as well?

Augmented Reality Looks to Developers to Go Mainstream

While augmented reality proponents have tried to push the edge of the technology with limited success, they’re now making a concerted effort to empower developers to incorporate AR into their apps. It’s a bet that developers can help AR can finally find a home in consumer’s lives.

You Look Ridiculous: The Other Augmented Reality Issue

Augmented Reality (AR) is a hot topic in the app stores these days. So, what’s AR? It’s multiple technologies being used simultaneously to provide you with data relevant to your location. This includes your phone’s compass to determine the direction you are facing, GPS to determine your exact location, an Internet connection to gather information about your surroundings, a camera to capture your reality and the screen to augment it with extremely specific data.

The app that gets the most free publicity is Layar for its on-again off-again relationship with Apple’s (s aapl) App Store. Whether or not this app should be allowed in the App Store is the issue people have been harping on for several months now. I think there is a much more urgent AR issue.
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