When Apple announced the iPhone 4 was going to come with a gyroscope and new API’s to interface with it, it came as a surprise to developers. They have had very little time to discover how they can use and write apps for it. Now, at least one developer is starting to add it to their augmented reality apps.
In an article on ReadWriteWeb, the author discusses app developer Acrossair who produces many custom apps, as well as the Acrossair Augmented Reality Browser. Like many other AR apps, their app overlays data onto a camera view of the direction your phone is pointed. Their program overlays data about things like restaurants, public points of interest and special events. Previously AR apps used the GPS to determine the location of the iPhone and the accelerometer and compass to determine the iPhone’s orientation. This did the job, but its ability to track movement was fairly limited. Users moving their phone around while using the app would see choppy movement and occasionally incorrect locations. Adding the gyroscope’s abilities to the compass and accelerometer allows the app to track movement of an iPhone 4 with very high accuracy.
The result is a very smooth and fluid augmented reality experience. People will likely be much more interested in using AR apps once they see how well they work. For a demonstration of how the gyroscope improves augmented reality, check out this comparison video from the developer. Wanna try it out? The updated version of Acrossair’s Augmented Reality Browser is available now in the App Store.