Augmented Traffic Views


The Android buzzword lately seems to be “Augmented Reality” and the latest addition to the pack is an Augmented Traffic View app that allows you to view live street traffic on roads ahead, helping you decide whether or not to take an alternate route based on congestion.

The application is for Android users in Toronto  and it utilizes 250 geo-tagged traffic cameras in Ontario. Here is a video of the application in action:

The concept is good but it seems much too complex in practice. And considering that texting while driving is a huge no-no, trying to locate the upcoming street views and using this app for its purpose seems like an intense distraction while driving that will ironically cause more traffic.

If this principle was embedded into more polished GPS turn-by-turn apps like Telenav I could see it working brilliantly. It could warn you of congested traffic and suggest alternate routes as it already does, but pop up a street view before you decide to recalculate. As a standalone app it has a lot of work to do.

That being said, you can’t knock the developers for putting together an app with a unique concept. Th is a first and hopefully the developers will continually improve and refine the idea and experience. And of course, for this to be widely used and effective, we would need to have other regions offering so many traffic cameras that are geo-tagged with API’s and whatnot.

The developers behind the application had this to say about the app via the YouTube description:

Sneak Peak at Toronto’s first Augmented Reality Application running on HTC Magic on Rogers (or any Android phone). See the Toronto/Ontario Traffic Cameras in a unique and exciting manner. Software supports an automated predictive tracking mode – see traffic cameras in the direction you are heading, well in advance, and real-time traffic maps.

Supports automated proximity Alerts (speed traps, red light cameras from your favourite POI source including PhantomAlert).

Ability to load your own custom POIs for viewing in the Augmented Reality mode!
Several other “hidden” features including the ability to see real-estate listings where you in the Augmented Reality mode (Alpha feature).

Search the Android Marketplace in early August for “Augmented Traffic Views” to download to your Android phone, worldwide and it will be FREE!

Right now Augmented Reality apps are a novelty of sorts, but in the next year or two they will become much more practical as technology catches up to the ideas. It’s wonderful that Android and other open source initiatives allow developers to dream up the next big thing and produce it for the masses!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Not bad. Not bad at all!

  2. Hey would love to see this in Edmonton, on a side note I wonder if Canada will get payed apps any time soon?

  3. Using the digital compass is rubbish. You can see that it is far too jittery to be useful. What they really need is either an optical method, or gyros.

  4. if any of you folks are travelling a lot, you need a killer bluetooth headset.

    get a ‘VXI blue parrot bt-250’.

    it’s ugly and clunky, so just pair it up and keep it in the car and use a sleeker one indoors (let it charge while you’re working).

    i drive an 18 wheeler and for sound and listening it’s hand down the best.

  5. These sort of augmented-reality apps will be more interesting when we get phones with more processing power.

    By the way, you published a link to the wp-admin page in the middle of the paragraph beginning with “That being said”

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