The New York Times experiment with Google has put remarkable augmented and virtual reality technologies centre stage for publishers. The tech never fails to startle, even though the NYT approach is quite clunky using expensive bespoke videos and ‘Google Cardboard’. Talk About Local has a much easier and cheaper way to get your content into augmented reality on Android and iOS devices – your readers just need their phone or tablet. As the reader holds the device up in front of them they see icons floating in the camera view corresponding to where that piece of content is. As they move the icons move. Readers can tap for a map to take them there, or to go right through to the piece of web content behind the icon, which appears in full on screen. The potential for anything that has a strong location component is huge. In the picture is a feed of Camden’s planning applications but it could be anything from restaurants to potholes to a kids treasure hunt.
If you can use a standard blog, or create a geo RSS feed then we can easily get your content into this app – WordPress, Blogger etc all make it easy to create geo-RSS. One click by a reader on a link in your app or website will install the industry standard Layar app and take them direct to your content. And because the content is fed in from a geo-RSS feed, it can update itself automatically without you having to do anything else.
Our software to do this was developed by brilliant coder Adrian Short with support from NESTA and Nominet Trust. It’s been featured on BBC TV and radio. Because our software make it quick and easy to experiment we hope it will help people unlock all sorts of new uses for augmented reality. If you want to have a go drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
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