[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4IjeO7g6kA]YouTube - iPhone in iPhone - augmented reality app for Orange Telecom[/ame]
Augmented reality is a technology that seems like its time has just not quite yet come. There are some cool apps, like CarFinder - which, not surprisingly, helps you find your car - and AugMeasure, which does a good job of measuring short distances. There are goofy augmented reality apps, like Virtual Graffiti, and then there are just head-scratchy ones. The iPhone in iPhone app, created by Orange Telecom to promote its service in Israel, is one of the latter kind.
The app, currently unavailable for download, lets you launch a simulated iPhone on your iPhone screen, overlaid on the background of whatever the camera is pointed at. You can zoom your virtual iPhone or spin it around, which is kind of cute but has been done to death before. What is new and potentially quite different is that it seems like you can also run apps on your virtual iPhone, which is itself an app on your physical iPhone. It doesn't seem like the interactivity extends past just a simulation of the apps launching, though.
Ogmento, the developers of this promo for Orange, describe mobile augmented reality as a way to "blur the lines between the “real world” and the “virtual world...” using the GPS, camera, image recognition and compass to identify your surroundings and overlay information and content on screen, in real time." They are also working on an augmented reality children's educational game called Put a Spell, that animates a little panda encouraging your child to spell.
The iPhone in iPhone app is bizarre, and perfectly useless... but it's somehow fascinating at the same time. Then again, I'm still kind of in a food coma. Happy Holidays!