July 7, 2009
iphone OS missing critical enabler of augmented reality apps
Update: With the release of OS 3.1 beta 2, Apple appears to have now opened up the camera API. Good news!
A host of the most promising names of mobile augmented reality software development have banded together to create an online petition to Apple via AR blog Games Alfresco titled, “Open Letter to Apple: Let us augment reality with the iphone!” It asks that that they open up a critical API within the iphone OS that would allow applications to access the real-time video stream from the applications viewfinder. This is an obvious requirement for a true augmented reality application, as it enables the application to overlay digital information on the screen as you’re seeing it, without a delay which would critically impair the experience and usability.
We’ve seen the OS 3.1 update come out but no word yet whether this will eventually include the critical missing function. If Apple were to miss this train, they would never catch up with google’s Android OS, which has had support for this since inception.
Seriously Apple; what were you thinking?