Crossfader has developed Version 1.4 of AR-MAPS, an iPhone app that supports augmented reality (AR) on maps. AR is one of visualization solutions. This map application represents the ground on the bottom half of the screen, showing a map there. On the top half, it shows a video, with AR tags attached to destinations on it. This makes navigation easier to visualize.
“AR-MAPS supports the iPhone. On the iPhone 5 (recommended models are iPhone 4S/5), you can choose between standard maps and Google Maps. Regarding Version 1.4, the first point is, this version supports English. Also, with AR-MAPS, you can switch between AR and Map modes by changing the way you hold the iPhone.”
Compared with the first version, the new version has features to reduce battery consumption, such as powering the camera down when not in AR mode. Also, if the iPhone is fixed in place, such as in a car, the mode can be set not to change if the phone’s orientation is changed.
“AR-MAPS basically has three modes. In Map mode, it can be used as an ordinary planar map. For example, you can find out what things are near where you are, and you can look for restaurant or hotel information. In List mode, when you search lots of pins come down, and you can see all your search results. Those features are used to make the app function as a map. Additionally, if you get lost, you can actually point the device at your surroundings, to check them out using AR mode. If you still lose your way, you can even send your destination to friends, so they can help you out.”
Crossfader plans to enable AR-MAPS to support devices other than the iPhone and to add non-free service options. The company also plans to improve the information available for many locations outside Japan.