After launching various country-specific versions of its augmented reality-based navigation app in Europe, Wikitude today launched its first version for the North American market with Wikitude Drive for Android ($14.13). Wikitude Drive offers an interesting twist on the normal turn-by-turn navigation app, as it doesn’t show a map on the screen. Instead, you see a live video on the road lines on the road that tell you where you need to go. This, says Wikitude, allows you to focus on the road, even when you are looking at the GPS and is hence safer than your regular turn-by-turn GPS unit.
Have an iPhone? Try TapNav, Too
Augmented reality holds great promise to change the way we consume geo-spatial and other visual information, but it has mostly remained a novelty so far. Apps like Wikitude Drive for Android and the very similar TapNav app for the iPhone show the potential of this technology. TapNav, indeed, may be the more interesting app for those who own an iPhone. It combines the regular GPS information with computer vision and can give you far more precise guidance as it actually understands the layout of the road.