Seen in the thewherebusiness.com;
IBM has integrated local sports coverage and augmented virtual reality (AR) at this year’s Wimbledon, still the prestige tennis tournament on the calendar. The mobile reality app, Seer Android, is very much the shape of things to come, writes Christopher Backeberg…
Layar augmented virtual reality
Seer Android may be less immediately dramatic than some of the early upsets at Wimbledon, like the second-round ousting of Maria Sharapova and the tigerish victory by Lleyton Hewitt. It hasn’t attracted pranksters with decibel meters to measure which of the female players indulges in the loudest orgasmic screaming when they hit the ball. It is extremely localised since it works only at Wimbledon.
What it has done, however, is further demonstrate how much of the remarkable potential of mobiles can be unlocked when different types of app technology and interests meet in a symbiotic relationship. Location-based sports information is just one of numerous subjects that can gain from the AR treatment.
Seer Android shows who, what, where
The IBM app runs only on Android phones. Its usability is limited to the hallowed precincts of the Wimbledon grounds. It is within these constraints that it works its charm.
It employs the currently standard method of simultaneously scanning the environment with the smartphone’s camera and projecting LBS data onto the viewfinder. It correlates the user’s location with the viewed target’s location by doing fancy tricks with the phone’s built-in GPS and compass.
IBM geotagged Wimbledon for this year’s tournament. When you point the phone camera at any of the courts, up pops the fixtures schedule for that court. You can see who’s playing right now on any court. (The phone won’t tell you which of them is screaming. You need analogue technology - namely, your ears - to know that.)
Scanning around with the phone will also show pop-up information about other points of interest such as concession stands where you can buy strawberries and cream. Or a steak-and-kidney pie, perhaps, if you need real food.
It’s that simple. Correction: it’s comparatively that simple, bearing in mind that a smartphone and all its miniaturised hardware and state-of-the-art apps use vastly more computing power than the mainframes that put the first men on the moon and ran the entire North American Aerospace Defence Command, NORAD, during the Cold War.
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