Augmented reality and smartphones are a techno match made in heaven, and the whole idea is about to take a fascinating turn thanks to some new software from Metaio: It’ll let you metatag real-world objects.
Sounds confusing? It should–the idea takes some thinking about, especially since we’re all just now getting comfortable with the notion of text tags on Web pages. Check out the video, and all will become a bit clearer:
Metaio’s code lets users leave AR notes, Tweets, images or even 3-D animations tagged to real world places, using a mix of geotagging, smartphone cameras and other Location-Based Service techniques. Other users, when viewing the world through a Metaio-enabled AR smartphone browser, would be able to discover the tag–and can even share it via a Facebook plugin.
Written down, this just sounds simplistic, useless and kind of geeky. Who’d want to tag a place with their picture or, as the video shows, a flapping dragon? Give it five to ten years, with more ubiquitous smartphone use, and I’d suggest the answer to that question is pretty much most people. Because the potential of this tech is almost limitless. Think of the real-world gaming options, like treasure hunts or live World of Warcraft tie-ins. Then think of the tourism opportunities, or tags with travel and restaurant reviews. And, of course, the killer app will be advertising–hotels will want to flag up their AR tag ads on a crowded city street so they stand out, shops could have a tag showing their most recent sales offer and so on.
Consequently, Metaio is developing its software for the iPhone, Google Android phones, Symbian phones and Windows mobile smartphones. You’ll be experiencing this tech, or something very similar, sooner than you think.