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April 16, 2011 / Omar J. Peters

The Augmented City

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. A common example is in sports. The yellow “first down” line seen in TV broadcasts of football games shows the line the offensive team must cross to receive a first down using the 1st & Ten system. The real-world elements are the football field and players, and the virtual element is the yellow line, which augment the image in real time. (from Wikipedia)

As of recent, with the growth of super-smartphones, the technology has some interesting applications in how we can get information about our environments and cities. There are apps that use the phone’s camera, compass, GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer to show the locations of transit stops, coffee shops, historical pictures, Wikipedia articles, etc.

New York Nearest Subway

Layar Reality Browser


In the future, maybe cities be viewed via augmented reality as portrayed in this video:


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