As demos of augmented reality iPhone apps make the rounds, the potential for what iPhone apps will look like in the near future have become increasingly cool and futuristic. In case you’re un-familiar with the term, “augmented reality” apps refer to programs which are able to merge real time video with overlaying and corresponding computer generated information. For example, imagine looking at the Statue of Liberty through your iPhone – with augmented reality, the phone will recognize the landmark you’re looking at (via GPS and the digital compass in the iPhone 3GS) and will display pertinent and interesting information about lady liberty. Of course, things are a lot easier to explain with a video than with words, so check out this example of an augmented reality app in action. The following video shows how augmented reality on the iPhone might help a user navigate his/her way through the NYC subway system.
Pretty cool, huh?
Well, it turns out that Apple isn’t accepting augmented reality iPhone apps into iTunes until it releases its iPhone OS 3.1 update. According to the LA Times, Apple told the developer of the above video, Acrossair, that “the app will be approved for distribution after Apple releases version 3.1 of the iPhone software”, which according to the developer, is expected to drop sometime in September.