'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 ")

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... 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

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot
Bad dog, Fuli. Bad dog.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

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.