Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

iPhone That Shows You the Closest Tube; [Pounds Sterling]1 Software Uses Live Video to Map Route

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

iPhone That Shows You the Closest Tube; [Pounds Sterling]1 Software Uses Live Video to Map Route

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Prigg Technology Correspondent

IT is the ultimate satnav accessory for every Londoner - a mobile phone that takes you to the nearest Tube station.

The software for the new iPhone 3GS uses an inbuilt video camera and GPS sensors to display the exact location of nearby stations. It even reveals which Underground lines are running under your feet.

The software is expected to go on sale next week for [pounds sterling]1.19, although it is still awaiting approval from Apple.

By moving the phone you can establish the nearest Tube station. If you tilt the phone upwards you will see stations further away, and images move in real time as you walk.

The software is believed to be the first commercially available on a mobile phone to use augmented reality, a system which superimposes information on to live pictures.

Developers of the software say it could lead to the ultimate travel guide, where pointing a camera at a landmark shows information about it.

Phone firms such as Nokia have already trialled systems, although they are not yet widely available.

Chetan Damani, spokesman for London firm acrossair, which developed the software, said: "The one problem every Londoner has faced at one time or another is finding their way to the nearest Tube.

"However, traditional maps can be tough to follow as they are in 2D.What we wanted to create was something which was based on real life. By using the sensors inside the iPhone we were able to superimpose Tube map locations on to the display."

Mr Damani said the firm hoped to add a feature which would show users live Tube data from TfL's countdown boards. It is also considering adding bus routes, along with versions for other cities.

Experts believe it could be a big step forward for gadget enthusiasts. Tom Dunmore from Stuff magazine said: "This is a huge advance for consumer technology as it blends the virtual world with the real one. …

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