Ab Fab Lab in a Street Near You

While we are on the topic of touristic applications, LastMinute.com labs, a travel site, has found a new way to tackle the problem of interfacing with an augmented reality world – for tourists. It is uncovered in an article on FastCompany.

The application Nru (pronounced Near You) uses  the GPS, compass, sensors and other goodies available on Google’s G1 phone. As you point it to different directions while strolling on a London street – Nru will display signals about your surrounding attractions; the usual suspects include restaurants, movies, shows.

Now, here comes the interesting part: the user interface. Hold it parallel to the ground and it displays a radar like view of your touristic targets. Hold it vertically and it transforms into a purple-black “heat” sensor highlighting worthy targets in your front.

To get more info about a selected target use the “old” gesture: just touch it.

They claim to pull information from a number of sources including Qype and fonefood. Not surprisingly – both are London focused information services.

Some will argue that since it doesn’t overlay (register) the signals on top of what’s in your field of view – it’s not a pure augmented reality implementation, but rather a location-based app.

But the British accent certainly masks that thought and adds a certain Je-ne-sais-quoi to the demo. Absolutely fabulous.

Nru is now available on the android marketplace – but only for UK customers. Top bollocks.

3 Responses

  1. Its looks quite usefull.
    Its a little odd they dont overlay it when in vertical mode though, seeing as thats a relatively simple step to take.

  2. […] Nru by Lastminute.com does a similar job with 2 distinct differences: it omits the live video stream for a purpuly radar like UI, and it tells you what Qype and fonefood know about what you’re looking at (mostly restaurants and shows.) Still waiting for the release of the app. […]

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