» Augmented Reality? Not Yet, But Just As Cool…

This post written by Tim Chi, CEO of WeddingWire. Follow him on Twitter @wwtim. Tim first developed the concept of WeddingWire shortly after getting married in 2005 (to his lovely wife Tracey). As an experienced entrepreneur, Tim sought out to assemble a team and build a technology that would help both engaged couples and vendors in the wedding industry.
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At WeddingWire, we spend a good deal of time following the latest trends in technology…not because we have to, more so because we love to.  Last year, we started to see the first batch of Augmented Reality applications deploy in the iPhone and Android marketplaces.  For those not familiar with AR, here’s a quick definition:

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real-world with a simulated one.

source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

Two examples of this are the Yelp App for iPhone and the Google Goggles application for iPhone and Android.  In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

1) You start up the application, which enables the camera on your phone
2) You hold your phone up to the street that you are on
3) Based on your geo-location and the internal compass, the application overlays customer reviews on top of the image that you are viewing, bringing together the real-world image AND the digital consumer reviews.
4) As you walk down the street, new data appears!

Pretty cool right?  And while it hasn’t taken off just quite yet (still in “technology enthusiast” mode as Geoffrey Moore would say), the concept behind meshing real world and computer generated data is powerful indeed.

So while we are all waiting for this to become mainstream, here is an app that recently got coverage that isn’t Augmented Reality, but I would argue, just as cool and immediately applicable.  It’s called Pixelate and here is the quick synopsis.

While its not magic, it’s close to it – Pixelate 2.0 landed in the iTunes store today. The app, which is yet another step towards the future, allows you to try out colors of paint on your walls, or clothes or what ever you’d like to change the color of by selecting an image, selecting a color and and gradually using the UI to paint one color over the other.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/17/pixelate-2-0/

Give it a shot!