Imagine this. You’re on holiday, you’ve been out walking, and you need to get back to the other side of town to your hotel.
You come across a bus stop, and you decide to wait for a bus. Whilst standing there, you decide to take a photo of your friends waiting with you.
You take the photo and then show the photo to your fiends. Hang on, what’s that on the photo? The bit of the bus stop in the shot has got a URL on it, inviting you to click on it. You click, and are presented with a bus timetable for this stop. Highlighted is the next bus going to your destination, and the length of time you’ve got to wait!
Amazed, you click back to the photo, and notice that in the background you’ve managed to capture part of a window of a local restaurant. Again, this part of the image has a URL, which you click on. Hey presto, you’re on the restaurant’s website, where you can check the menu and also get a money off voucher.
A bizarre view of a convenient future? This is one envisaged by MOBVIS, the Mobile Attentive Interfaces in Urban Scenarios project, which is currently mapping out streets in both Austria and Germany.
The service claims to be able to recognise pictures of surroundings and add URLs to anything in that image it can find information about.
It is a so-called ‘pre-emptive’ technology, designed to anticipate your need to search for information.
The MOBVIS project is funded by EC.
Scary picture of the future? Fantasy comic book idea? Or exciting project that could change searching and surfing habits? Please leave a comment below.