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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayfinding and Mobile Applications



I'm spending a bit of time contemplating wayfinding systems and various geolocating mobile applications.

I found this a fascinating read 'Wayfinding through Technology 'by Cennydd Bowles. Well, okay it's over a year old but thought provoking none the less.

We've all been intrigued by Augmented reality but imagine if it gave you realtime data about the world around you. For anyone with an iPhone there is possibly nothing more magical than holding up your phone and sharing the constellations of the night sky with your young children. Consumer software is adding poetry to our daily lives, not just being purely utilitarian.

Personally, I have to confess, I'm holding out for an Android phone...or possibly an Apad (Android pad), or should I say 'iRobot' Droid iPad knockoff looks fairly tempting but still does not support Flash(!)

I haven't tried out Gowalla or Foursquare but I have read up about the Major battles and general geeky jousting about which is better. If this kind of location based consumer behaviour and data was available to marketers, it would send them wild.

However, Layar technology has fired up my imagination. Layar is based in the Netherlands and their geolocation mobile applications run on iPhone and Android phones...check the Layar demo - it's inspiring stuff. Despite the fatuous marketing - 'now you can decide how you want your world to be augmented'. Hmm ...the corny presentation aside, the gist of it is amazing really. The Droid phones with Layar actually integrate with Facebook places...(a fascinating evolution of Facebook, although the big brother/stalker potential isn't very attractive.)

It's all getting very interesting out there...now I'm off to read more about the term 'Spime' (thanks to Bruce Stirling.)

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