'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 ")

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1956.

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...' - William Gibson, 1986.

Google Home Continues Implementation Of Pohl's Joymaker
'It is a transponder connecting you with the central computing facilities of the city in which you reside on a shared-time, self-programming basis.' - Frederik Pohl, 1966.

New Startup 'Improbable' To Model Our World
'A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

 

Google
  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

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

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.