Contributed by Civic Resource Group
We are presented with an abundance of data around us in this increasingly mobile, digital world. Under the umbrella of “Smart Cities,” local, state, federal, even global initiatives have demonstrated the power of data and connectivity in making cities smarter, more efficient and sustainable places to live, work, and visit.
These data initiatives have enabled a wide range of mobile / smartphone applications creating a new challenge – how do you easily interact with all these applications and all this data?
Imagine that you could actually see and engage with that data and information presented in the context of where you are. That you could point to a bus stop sign with your smartphone and know when the next bus will arrive; stumble on a new restaurant, point at it with your smartphone and instantly read the reviews and make your reservation; or use your mobile device to point at a broken streetlight providing the city all the information needed to repair it. That every location, sign, or object was a path to learn, comment, purchase, and engage.
It’s called Augmented Reality (AR), and this seemingly futuristic phenomenon has already entered the public space. In what is being considered the next big paradigm shift in using technology to interact with one’s environment, Virtual and Augmented Reality have transformative implications for user behavior and business processes.
While Virtual Reality takes you into an alternate universe, Augmented Reality enhances the way you see and engage with your actual surroundings, making it both relevant and more meaningful for citizens and the public sector.
Working with Civic Resource Group, Palm Springs, California, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, are providing Augmented Reality solutions where a resident or visitor can use their mobile device to point at and visually and contextually learn more about every storefront, hotel, and venue, enriching each tourism touchpoint.
As more data and additional categories of data become available, new integrated and cross-platform Smart City solutions emerge. As Augmented Reality technologies are perfected and become readily available, the “Augmented City” becomes a reality.
As simply as we turn on and off our smartphones, smart citizens, visitors, and workers will effortlessly “turn on” their augmented view of the world to receive accurate, contextual information on their mobile or wearable device.
Augmented Reality has already begun to simplify and enhance every experience, action, and interaction for mobile users, making a real impact on the way we experience our cities.