Augmented reality to locate the closest ATM

I’m extremely interested in branded mobile applications. let’s have a look at the ING Wegweijzer application, I’ve discovered earlier today.

Finding an ATM in an unfamiliar city or neighbourhood can be a real hassle. So it’s no surprise that various applications have been developed for the iPhone and other mobile devices, that use built-in GPS to map the nearest cash machines. ING Wegwijzer, a new application built for the T-Mobile G1 (Google) phone, takes the concept a step further. The G1 phone has a built-in compass, which means that it can not only determine where users are, but also which direction they’re facing. Which gets interesting when combined with the phone’s camera, which is what the Dutch bank’s new tool does.

How that works? A cash-seeking user opens Wegwijzer, selects the camera mode, and holds the phone as though to take a picture. Layered over the live image of what’s in front of him, is a label showing where the nearest ATM is, literally pointing to the building that houses the machine. Which, for most people, is a far more intuitive way to find an object than by looking at a map; it’s the phone equivalent of asking a human and having them point to what you’re looking for.

Another application that uses augmented reality in a similar way is the Wikitude AR Travel Guide, which taps into location-based Wikipedia content to give travellers details on landmarks they view through their Google phone.

What I also like is the fact that they launched a mini-site to explain users how to install and use the software.

For a detailed visual overview of the application, you can have a look at the photostream uploaded on Flickr by Marteen (from which the first image in this post is taken).

ING Wegwijzer was launched today and is available for free through Android Market, the Google equivalent of Apple’s iPhone App Store. As mobile devices become increasingly well-equipped, opportunities abound for brands and entrepreneurs that can help consumers find whatever it is they’re looking for.

Time to start brainstorming! 🙂

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~ by digivine on February 4, 2009.

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