Augmented Reality on the iPhone

A new term in the high tech dictionary, augmented reality is “a ‘live, real-world’ view augmented by iPhone generated graphics”. So let me explain what it does in a ‘real-world’ example.

Point your iPhone’s camera at a group of mountains along the highways of Banff National Park and the view appears on the screen with tags showing the name of the mountain. Using GPS and compass data, the software calculates your position in relation to the surrounding mountains. No cellular network connection is required. Tap on a tag for information about the selected mountain.

It works best if you are outside your vehicle as the accuracy of the iPhones’s built-in compass can be affected by magnetic and other interference such as magnets, metals, and electronics within your vehicle.

Click here for movie showing Augmented reality

The Canadian Mountain Parks Companion, Banff edition, an iPhone App launched yesterday, provides information on more than 250 mountains, lakes, and points of interest, and includes more than 400 photographs. The content is provided by Dave Birrell from his informative Peakfinder website. While the current app covers Banff National Park, Dave plans to produce apps for Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton National Parks, and Kananaskis Country over the next few months.

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