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Point and Click Your Phone to Get the Inside Dope on Just About Anything

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iPhone with Monocle app

The customer review website Yelp! introduced a free augmented reality app, called Monocle, for the iPhone in 2009. The app here displays customer reviews and contact information for businesses near the corner of Clark and Jackson in Chicago.

Credit: Kevin Eisenmann / Medill Reports

Researchers at Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design (IID) are developing augmented reality applications for use on mobile phones. "It’s such an interesting field because you can supplement our environments without permanently changing anything," says IID professor Anijo Mathew. He says the technology has great potential in education, health care, retail, and tourism. Mathew plans to release a Chicago-centric tourist application this fall.

In education, Mathew says the technology could be used by students to "see" digital breadcrumbs left by teachers, or artists could use it to create digital graffiti for public spaces. Several cities, including Paris and Berlin, have incorporated augmented reality into history tours and offer digitized representations of the cities' past.

University of Washington researchers have developed a contact lens that contains an electronic display and antenna that is powered with a wireless radio signal, which could eventually lead to screens mounted directly onto the eye.

From Medill Reports
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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