Might augmented reality on smart phones bring a whole new interest in using public transportation? Well... it is really, really darn cool. Anyone who feels intimidated or frustrated by navigating a transportation system like the Tube in London, or subway and bus systems in any metropolitan area, could find confidence in augmented reality on smart phones. AR is becoming more common, and it was just added to the TFL-licenced London Tube app. Thanks to AR, the new app can help people not only find everything from bus stops and Tube stations, but also be visually guided to any London Cycle Hire Docking station within a 1 km radius, making traveling by bike -- by bike-share system specifically -- that much easier.
Reg Hardware writes, "To use the feature, first download the London Tube app and add the Point of Interest packs you desire, Food & Drink, Leisure, Attractions or Accommodation. FYI, the Cycle Hire docking stations are a part of the Leisure pack." The app itself is $0.99 on iTunes, and the AR feature only works on 3GS or iPhone 4.
The addition of AR for finding bike-share stations is hopefully just the first step in seeing more AR features in transportation apps. And it seems to make a great compliment to the (not yet fully developed, let alone safe) bike helmet with AR navigation guidance. Maybe one day...but we aren't quite that Star Trek-ed out yet.