Aug, 31 2009

On Friday we told you about a company called Mobilizy who announced two new projects for Android : Wikitude 3 and Wikitude.Me. We’ve just spotted a 3rd project the company is pursuing and it combines your typical GPS navigation turn-by-turn software/app with Augmented Reality concepts. The result is an app called Wikitude Drive:

The developers of the app wanted to see, “if it was feasible to combine real-time navigation with mobile augmented reality.” After watching the above video I concluded that it was both feasible and pointless. The purpose of a navigation application – in my mind at least – is to show us where we should be going and turning with access to more information than we could from the driver’s seat. The “Augmented Reality” part of this application is completely redundant as I could look out the windshield and see exactly the same thing while the application just said, “turn right in XYZ feet.

In my mind the only advantage it has is being light weight becaues it doesn’t have to load maps… but then again maps are what makes seeing where/when you have to turn easier. Otherwise all the app is really doing is flashing arrows in different directions of where you should turn/steer. The voice commands would be helpful… but I just don’t see this being a practical use of augmented reality.

I mean, how pointless does the “augmented reality” portion of this app seem:

wikitude-drive

I mean seriously… doesn’t the above seem pretty ridiculous when you put it into perspective?

WALKING directions with this might work. For example if you’re on a hike in the woods and the trails aren’t easily marked it could help you know where to turn based on certain landmarks but for vehicular transportation I see this as an experiment well performed albeit with a negative outcome. Cheers to the Mobilizy team for trying, but unless they drastically alter the goal of this application, I can’t see it being too useful.

Of course I’ve been wrong before… so if you feel I’m wrong now, type now or forever hold your mouse.