The app, Wikitude, was my first experience with an augmented reality application. This application uses the camera on the iPhone to determine where you are and provide information about the sites around you. I used the application around campus and I was able to pull up information about the university. It also shows what restaurants, cafes, ATMs and sights around you. This application is perfect when on vacation or in a city that you are unfamiliar with. I would love to be able to try the application out in a different location other than the university. I may keep the application on my phone and use it when I am in Iceland in January.
After learning about these types of applications, I have used augmented reality programs without realizing it. Google Earth is an augmented reality program that a lot of people use to determine where certain places are or simply for fun. I have used Google Earth many times and it has changed a lot since its inception. Now, Google Earth provides 3D views of streets and neighborhoods. It is amazing that a satellite can project all of these images that we can now see on our laptops.
By mixing the virtual world and the real world together, augmented reality is a way to enhance our senses and skills. It bends the rules of physical laws and allows us to experience the world differently. As always, does this really enhance our reality or hinder it?