Augmented Reality is different from virtual reality in the way that digital information is combined with the real world you see, feel and walk inside. It can be hand when you’re trying to find a location on foot, but it can also give you extra information when you are curious about a Point of Interest that pops up within the camera view of the street, building, or space in front of you. These data points have to be created though, and without the authors there’s very little Augmentation going on. I can imagine some black holes in some areas as most people depend on Google searches providing information about a Point of Interest. But it’s early days, and there’s a lot of stuff to discover on your own. Check out Layar for the iPhone or Droid.
App Stores are all the rage only because they seem to foster a “competitive advantage” by reining in the add-ons people make for your devices. As the manufacturer of said device, you can open up the platform slightly and make some big gains in the marketplace. GPS personal navigation devices (PND) have been a cul-de-sac when it comes to third party developers. Proprietary OSes and data formats were designed to keep reverse engineers constantly on their toes and keep competitors from cloning functionality very quickly. TomTom innovated quickly in a market dominated by a fairly slow, conservative Garmin. Now that App Stores are the next frontier, what is TomTom going to do?
MacUser interviewed Google officials at a press conference in London, England. In an odd uncoordinated set of announcements it first appeared true, then later in the day flatly denied that Apple would be getting Google Maps for the iPhone. Unfortunately even places like Slashdot with its board of editors and vetters even got this article up before the denial. So what’s up, with Google and Google Maps on the iPhone? Read On:
As smartphone started adopting some GPS navigation apps, and using the embedded GPS chips in some phones, Garmin could see it’s dominance slipping. They decided to enter the market two years ago to create a navigation/smartphone called the nuviphone. It eventually hit the market much too late and looked like an expensive mistake. But instead of being scared, Garmin changed their plan a little and now they are back with a strategic shift towards Google.
Anyone who downloaded and installed the old Google Browser sync plug-in for Mozilla back in the day enjoyed a wonderful cross-platform way of keeping bookmarks up to date on all the computers they use. I have seen Browser Sync come, then go. Now Google has a web browser, Chrome which has at long last restored the old functionality of Browser Sync.
Now that Droid has hit the market and the mobile Google OS is strutting its stuff, when are we going to see the benefits of an AppStore like Universe? Early wins are going to be critical, so maybe turn-by-turn navigation is an early win?!