Augmented reality is one of the themes of William Gibson’s recent book Spook Country, in which high-tech renegades overlay ghostly images on real-world locations to create “locative art,” visible via special glasses. You know, like the dead body of a famous writer floating in the street, showing the scene from the moment he died.
The idea of the internet overlaying reality is becoming concrete. Now an iPhone 3GS app by Acrossair, above, points you to the nearest subway station, with ghostly arrows telling you which way and how far to walk. The technology that makes this work is all logical — a combination of the phone’s video screen, GPS locator, and accelerometer — but the result seems magic.
Coolhunter Tom Ajello has a detailed profile of other augmented-reality mobile applications here.