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App Friday: Augmented reality apps

The future is here. Augmented reality apps offer a sci-fi style view of the world by overlaying information on to your mobile’s screen — think Terminator vision. To celebrate this fantastic technology we’ve put together our favourite augmented reality apps so that you can see what all the fuss is about.

Nearest Tube (iPhone 3GS) This app does what it says on the tin but it does it amazingly well. Simply hold your iPhone 3GS up and look around to see where the nearest tube station is. It costs £1.19 from the Apple app store. Watch the video below to see it in action.

(Android) This app combines information from sites, such as Flickr and Wikipedia, and overlays it on nearby locations. It’s an ambitious idea that requires a lot of information to work but we like it and it’s free to download from the Android market.

(iPhone 3GS) Yelp is a big database of user reviews of restaurants, bars and other similar venues. Recently Yelp launched an augmented reality feature called Monocle. By holding your iPhone 3GS up you can find nearby venues and read reviews on them. Free to download.

Google Sky Map
(Android) Astronomy has always puzzled us a bit but with Google Sky you can become an knowledgeable star-gazer in seconds. When you hold your Android phone up Sky Map overlays stars, planets and other celestial bodies with useful information overlaid on top. It’s free to download.

Wikitude Drive
(Android & iPhone 3GS) Similar to Layar, Wikitude allows you to cross reference Wikipedia data with nearby geographical locations. But the Wikitude team is also working on something called Wikitude drive that’s a full-on sat-nav app which isn’t out just yet but we couldn’t help mentioning it.