Business directory owner Yell.com – owner of the Yellow Pages – is set to add augmented reality to its iPhone app, allowing users to ‘see’ local shops, offices, restaurants and other useful services through the iPhone’s camera viewer – even if they’re round the corner or in the next street.
In essence what the service offers is a new way for businesses to advertise with Yell.com. They pay to have their details added to the augmented reality overlay, so that when a user holds up their iPhone with the app running, the software places details of the business the camera can ‘see’ around it.
As you move the iPhone around, yellow boxes are displayed over the live feed of the world directly in front of you. If you touch one of these boxes, information is displayed about that specific business such as address, phone number, opening hours and website.
It’s a combination of the iPhone’s GPS and compass, which combine to pinpoint exactly where you are, and the way you’re facing. Yell then seamlessly overlays the relevant information, taken from its database of two million businesses. The App, which requires an iPhone 3GS, features:
• Radar: shown at the top of the screen, indicates which businesses are around you, 360°
• Categories Bar: swish your finger to the right and a display with popular searches appears allowing you to get to the information you want quickly
• Range: swish your finger to the left and you can set the distance that you want to see, therefore allowing you to reduce the amount of information on the screen
“This is an exciting new way to advertise local businesses,” says Matthew Bottomley, director of new media product marketing at Yell. “It means any business can be found easily, even if it’s tucked away around a corner or in the next street. So as people get used to using this kind of technology, having a prime ‘high street’ location could well become a lot less important.”
The app is live now at the Apple Apps Store and is free to download.