Germany-based Metaio, which specializes in augmented-reality technology, has announced a new cooperation with Portland’s transit agency TriMet. TriMet has adopted Metaio’s augmented-reality browser, Junaio, which San Francisco’s BART system already started using last March.
Augmented reality, or AR, works by superimposing virtual data on views of the real world using, for example, a camera-equipped smartphone.
The Junaio browser lets passengers locate nearby stations and bus stops, see the distance to them, and access real-time, live schedules to see when the next ride is coming. The ap only runs on Apple’s iPhone 3GS at the moment, but an Android version is coming out soon. Both are or will be free downloads. All users have to do is point the smartphone’s camera at their surroundings and the software will superimpose information on the nearest stations on the device’s screen, as demonstrated in a video here, detailing the service with BART in San Francisco. Users can also scan for stations on a map within a specific radius and leave notes on locations for other users to find when they are using the browser.
Metaio is making headway in the AR market, as covered in a recent VentureBeat article. While their products have been more designed to the industrial or commercial markets, the Junaio browser is their first consumer-oriented product. As far as Junaio is concerned, Metaio hopes to provide an AR interface to transit data, which many transit agencies provide for third-party developers, so commuters and tourists can access it also in other cities than San Francisco and Portland.
Don’t miss MobileBeat 2010, VentureBeat’s conference on the future of mobile. The theme: “The year of the superphone and who will profit.” Now expanded to two days, MobileBeat 2010 will take place on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Early-bird pricing is available until May 31. For complete conference details, or to apply for the MobileBeat Startup Competition, click here.