iPhone Augmented Reality Apps to Be Available in Apple App Store by September
--New "Augmented ID" App Uses Facial-Recognition Tech to Discover People's Social Networking Info
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Friday, Apple recently told Acrossair, the developer of the Nearest Tube subway-finding application profiled on itvt.com, July 9th (note: Acrossair has since launched New York and San Francisco Bay Area versions of the app), that it will officially support augmented reality applications with the next release (version 3.1) of its iPhone OS software, and that such applications will launch in the Apple App Store in September.
Smartphone-based augmented reality applications (for multiple examples of such apps, see the article published on itvt.com, July 9th) leverage smartphones' integrated GPS and compass capabilities to display real-time digital information on top of the phone's camera screen--effectively transforming reality into a giant, real-time interactive video experience. Currently, developers are unable to publish their AR applications on the Apple App Store, because the iPhone SDK lacks public API's for manipulating live video, and the method that AR developers have found to work around this limitation--via a restricted tool called "Camera Viewer"--is not approved by Apple. This situation has resulted in a number of AR developers launching a petition to Apple Developer Relations, asking the company to "provide a public API to access live video in real time, on the iPhone."
In other augmented reality news: Swedish mobile user interface company, TAT, has developed a concept AR application, called Augmented ID, which it says uses facial-recognition software from Polar Rose to enable users to identify other users around them and then view information on those users from their social networking profiles. According to the company, users would control their own "augmented appearance" by selecting the information that they want to display to others. A demo video of the application is embedded below.