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London, the iPhone App


Museums can teach you a lot about a city…but usually, it just makes you want to head back outside. To that end, the Museum of London just launched an augmented reality app called StreetMuseum, which drops vintage photos into the London streets where they were taken—along with a few paintings for a glimpse into an even more distant past. Count us as very impressed.

Somebody’s Watching Me


It was fun for a while, but the thrill of social media is not what it used to be. After enough idle time, it gets to be a pain having that Facebook page that following you around—and not just because it still lists Clerks as your favorite movie.

With the help of augmented reality tech and facial recognition software, that pesky feeling is about to become very very real. This Augmented ID concept from Tat hones on a person’s face and proceeds to surround them with their various online simulacrums, from professional LinkedIn pages to the occasionally ill-advised Facebook quote. You’ll be able to tailor what shows up—Tat even goes so far as imagining separate “work” and “play” profiles—but we can’t help wondering if you really want all that following you around.

On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about remembering anyone’s name.

See a video that explains it all»

Meanwhile, Back at the Lab


Edison-style inventing keeps a pretty low profile these days, but there’s still a lot of would-be Qs out there, and they’ve got some ideas to show you.

The James Dyson Awards (hat tip to The Awl are going on right now, gathering thousands of engineers and inventors to compete for a chunk of sweet vacuum-cleaner money by sketching up personal railway systems and inventing new ways for doors to open. There’s a few days left to vote, but we’ve already found a favorite.

This German heads-up windshield display is called the Bionic Cockpit, and it brings augmented reality into the automotive world, along with a pleasantly botanical design motif and a lot of downright useful information conveyed in a simple and effective way. Detroit’s in no condition to buy them out…but maybe Munich’s interested?

See a demonstration»

A Guided Tour


Navigating a major sporting event can be pretty bewildering if you don’t have the right equipment. But it’s nothing a Smartphone can’t solve.

This Android app from IBM gives you a guide to every taxi stand, restaurant, and bathroom, along with live feeds from every court giving a blow-by-blow for each match. And, in case you want something a bit more direct than Google Maps, it gives you all the info in a heads-up display through the phone’s camera. Think of it as the difference between “north-northeast” and “that way.”

See a video and here more about Augmented Reality»