Augmented Reality and LBS: a Winning Combination or Just the Next Hype?

The emergence of GPS phones with built-in digital compasses has resulted in the launch of a series of location-based AR (Augmented Reality) software platforms and applications. While the definition of AR as a combination of real-world and computer-generated data dates back to the early nineties, its new momentum is now gathered in the LBS (Location-Based Services) arena with graphic location content related to the position and orientation of the user being overlaid in real-time onto camera images taken by the phone. This video see-through interface allows the user to discover what’s nearby by simply pointing the phone at any scene, while moving around and looking through the camera lens. This makes for an innovative and intuitive user interface, which is also a fun way to search for and consume location-based information, an aspect often overlooked by software developers. What recent launches have occurred and how do we evaluate the overall relevance of AR for the LBS industry?

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