Friday, August 21, 2009

Acrossair muscles into Augmented Reality (AR) arena with iPhone app

London-based Acrossair recently rolled out its own take on the Augmented Reality (AR) story, by releasing an application that allows New Yorkers to point their iPhone camera at any city street and get an overlay of how close and in which direction the nearest subway stations are.

Hold the phone flat and it shows all the subway lines in coloured directional arrows.Raise the iPhone and it will point you to the nearest subway station, with distances shown.

You can see a quick demo video here:

Acrossair is clearly pitching itself against media darling Layar and, with its nifty new applications, muscling itself into position to grab some of the AR limelight.

Competition is clearly hotting up, not only in the US but also in Japan, where Tonchidot launched its own iPhone app, Sekai Camera that adds a social networking dimension to AR.

This definitely remains an area to keep close tabs on, with new smartphones enabling new consumer applications that were perhaps unthinkable until only a few years ago.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Facebook for Android -coming soon

The summer holiday season being in full swing, it is that time of the year when 'real' news gets replaced with products of the rumour mill.

Speculation over what the future may bring once the industry movers and shakers are back in their office seats is rife.

One rumour to have recently hit the web is the launch of a new Facebook app for the Android platform. This would be a logical step for Facebook, having recently announced the launch of a revamped iPhone application (which will allow video uploads in addition to current photo uploads).

However, it seems Facebook is relying on external resources from the Android team at Google rather than managing all development in-house, so exactly when the app will be released involves a large degree of guesswork.

A Facebook launch on Android would give a big boost to Android's positioning vis-a-vis the iPhone, at a time when over 12 new Android devices are due to hit the market worldwide in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

The Android Market still has some catch up to do with respect to the iTunes app Store, with many apps still failing to project that sleek finish and desirability endemic to all things Apple.

Plus, if we look at a chart of daily worldwide releases of new apps on the Android market over the last 100 days (courtesy of, things seem to be plateau-ing at Android and a new stimulus is required to pick up the momentum if Android is to realise its potential as a serious contender to the iPhone.