Picture this: ¬†Augmented reality (or AR) may finally be getting its start turn. Nokia has become the first smartphone manufacturer to make AR a built-in feature on its flagship device, the Lumia 920, instead of a bolt-on option like an app.
Nokia unveiled the City Lens in May as a beta project, but it was only yesterday that the smartphone manufacturer announced that it was a¬†permanent fixture on its new Lumia 920.
One tap from the home screen on the Lumia fires up City Lens, a built-in AR tool.
Much hyped since 2008 but slow to be adopted by mainstream travelers, AR¬†lets you view the¬†see the street you’re on through your device’s screen (viewfinder), like you do when you take a photo with your smartphone’s camera.
Small flags, arrows, and text bubbles lay over the image, pointing you to places worth visiting nearby, in the style of the heads-up display on the¬†Terminator glasses.
See a brasserie that’s well rated by other users? Tap your screen to call it and book a reservation.
On Nokia’s Lumia, City Lens’s augmented reality is integrated into Nokia Maps, too. After you search for directions, hold your phone up and point it at the street to see arrows directing you the right way.
If you don’t want to buy the new Lumia, you can still try out the¬†City Lens app, available in the Windows Phone Marketplace¬†for other devices.
Check out this YouTube video of City Lens on Nokia’s Lumia superphone.