While we wait for Google Glass to become the travel accessory of choice, Wikitude allows us to use our mobile devices to explore the world around us in full augmented reality (AR to those in the know) glory!
Wikitude – what is it?
It’s an AR (augmented reality) app. This essentially means that you can hold your phone up in front of you and what you see through the camera will be annotated with information about your surroundings. This means the app has the power to tell you everything you don’t know about the place you are in – perfect when you find yourself in a new city!
What does Wikitude do?
Wikitude integrates information from Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and the like to:
- Show nearby hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes
- Highlight last minute deals
- Offer up reviews
- Find attractions
- Locate hotels, restaurants and transport
- Give important information about what is nearby
Essentially, it allows users to visualise the world around them and actively engage with it in an easy and convenient manner. It’s like having your own pocket tour guide!
The interface has a ‘worlds’ tab, which users can use to select where their information comes from, say Wikipedia, Trip Advisor, YouTube, and content from that stream that is relevant to the location will show as an overlay on your camera.
This is one AR app that has been deemed worth using by many. It is free and available on all operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows… The open-source nature of the platform does mean that there is the occasional bit of irrelevant information that gets included, but the many ‘worlds’ to choose from makes it easy for users to find the sort of content they like and trust to be added to their view.