Augmented Reality is technology where real world elements are merged with or augmented by virtual computer generated imagery creating a mixed reality. Augmented Reality enabled apps are developed by many companies and Apple has promised that the upcoming OS 3.1 will provide full support to AR apps.
Thankfully, iPhone app developers have apparently found a way to sneak AR features into the AppStore via app updates – without Apple’s official blessing. The first AR iPhone app to find its way is Yelp. Review site Yelp apparently beat all other augmented buy reviews on Yelp App contenders in getting an AR enabled app onto the Apple iTunes Store.
The Yelp iPhone App uses GPS, Compass and the Camera to display labels for restaurants, bars and other nearby businesses with Yelp reviews. The Yelp iPhone app has been there on iPhone AppStore for a while, but a new update has enabled an augmented reality feature called “Monocle.”
After updating the Yelp, to access the AR all you have to do is shake your phone three times to trigger the Monocle button, which suddenly appears on the top of the screen. The Monocle once enabled brings restaurant and bar overlaid with reviews and information like in any Cyborg movies. The Monocle provide overlaid information with the help of iPhone 3GS built in compass and GPS.
It’s actually a bit tricky getting the Monocle feature enabled. Shake the iPhone as if you’re throwing a skipping stone across a pond. Do that three times in a row and you’ll see a pop-up notifying you that Monocle is enabled. You should then see the “Monocle” button in the upper right corner.