Sometime next month, new iPhone software is supposed to ease the way for "augmented reality" apps, which digitally superimpose data on the world, as seen through the phone's camera. Very cool idea and, so far, very boring execution. Think, people!
Let's look at the apps released so far, for other phones as well as under prior versions of the iPhone OS: restaurant reviews, taxi and subway information, ATMs, WiFi and houses for sale. Ugh! Way to take advantage of a brand-new paradigm, programmers. This is like looking at the Web in the mid-90s and deciding its best use was for distributing newspaper articles and selling pet food.
We've already though of some vastly superior ideas off the tops of our heads, since that's the sort of thing we do on a Friday in August:
- ClubLech: Scan the inside of your local hotspot with the iPhone, and find all the singles in the clurrb. This could be done using the iPhone's GPS feature, but better yet, why not use the facial-recognition software as depicted in this iPhone ad parody.
- NetworkerGoggles: You're at a schmoozefest. Who are the most interesting people in the room? The most indiscreet; the most likely to be drunk; the richest; the ones with the most/least friends in common with you? Ask your iPhone and little business cards start floating over their heads!
- Death & Taxis: Which cabs should I avoid, based on the opinions of the last few iPhone-savvy fares? And should I let the guy drop me off here, based on who was shot/mugged on this block recently?
- BladderUp: For when you absolutely must go immediately. If its database doesn't include any nearby retailers with sneak-in-able facilities, it probably can at least direct you to a discreet alley corner. (Any use of this application by cokeheads is as unintended as it is inevitable.)
- Dirty Little Secrets: There are eventually going to be little individual apps for projecting health code violations, crime incidents, civil lawsuit data, sex offender registries, liens, toxic pollution, BBB complaints and various other negative indicators onto the iPhone's "augmented' view of the world. So why not just create an app that aggregates all this awful stuff right from the get-go?
Got any ideas of your own? Post them in the comments. We have a feeling this is going to be the next mini-bubble in tech; might as well get to work inflating it now so the cycle plays out as quickly as possible.