Since augmented reality (AR) began to become more mainstream thanks to the launch of apps such as Pokemon Go and the release of Apple’s ARKit, a number of analysts have noted the potential of AR as a navigation aid. While Apple and Google have both taken steps in that direction, Telecom Square have launched a full AR navigation app called PinnAR.
PinnAR uses AR navigation to help guide users to their destination. The app is available in four languages. Though originally designed for travelling in Japan, the app makers at Telecom Square say the app should work all over the world.
The developers also say that the app is perfect for users who have difficulty reading maps, or those might might have difficulty in typing a location they are looking for.
PinnAR offers three main functions. The first is an Optical Character Reader ‘Word Scanner’ which can use the camera to scan words from signs or other printer materials in order to search for a destination. This is noted as being of particular use to users who can’t read the local language.
The second function is AR navigation, which users AR markers to overlay reality in order to guide users to their destination. Similar to many videogame navigation aids, users simply have to follow the arrows in order to find their destination.
The third function uses the information available through Google Places to let users check various places near their current location. Fifteen different categories are available, which includes: train (stations), bus (stops), restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping, hospitals, hotels, ATMs, convenience stores, taxi stands, leisure, museums, electronic shops, nightclubs. This feature is only available in locations which are supported by Google Places.
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