'Nearest Tube' Augmented Reality iPhone App

Nearest Tube is an augmented reality iPhone application by UK developer acrossair. Owners of the iPhone 3Gs in London can use it to find the nearest "tube" - subway - station entrance.

Take a look at this video of the Nearest Tube application.

(Nearest Tube iPhone app video)

As you can see, the Nearest Tube application superimposes directional cues and signage on the iPhone's live picture image. Held flat, the screen actually shows the train lines underground; held vertically, you can see signposts with train station names. The functionality depends on the iPhone 3Gs GPS to determine your location, and to present appropriate images.

Although the term "augmented reality" appears to have been coined in the early 1990's by Boeing aircraft engineers, I think that The California Voodoo Game, a 1992 novel by Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, mentions DreamTime scleral contact lenses which, if I remember correctly, do actually superimpose graphic information on the scene in front of the user, making it an augmented reality display.

Science fiction authors have also been popularizing the idea and developing ideas for specific applications. For example, Charles Stross writes about overlay specs in his 2007 novel Halting State. These were used by police officers to present information gleaned from copspace, a virtual evidence warehouse, and then superimposed on the real world.

Vernor Vinge wrote about the idea at great length in his 2006 novel Rainbows End; everyone uses smart contacts (which Vinge introduced in an earlier story) to see images superimposed on the real world. In the novel, augmented reality was universal; no one had to look at plain, unvarnished reality.

You'd need to go back at least as far as Philip K. Dick's retinal vid-screen, from his 1954 story Sales Pitch to see the earliest mention of having something that projected information directly into your visual field. However, Dick was just suggesting that you could see news feeds; I don't think he suggests that you could see location-specific images superimposed on your field of vision.

From acrossair via Gizmodo. Also, see a video of Wikitude augmented reality software for Google android smartphones developed last fall.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/18/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
'You can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit... and the tube will "remember" what was done and can direct the operation...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.


  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

Cool Tinsley Lunar Unicycle Update
Great update of a timeless classic.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...'

Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'

Tiny Rubbery Robot To Take 'Fantastic Voyage'
I think that I will wait for other volunteers for this one.

Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.'

Disney Vyloo Robots With Personality
'Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.