‘Your New Eye’: Tokyo’s Augmented Reality iPhone App
Posted on September 1, 2009
For those of you who own an iPhone or an iPod Touch, commuting in Tokyo just got a little bit easier. Now, thanks to a company called Presselite, there’s a new version of Tokyo Underground—a cool application that allows you to quickly locate nearby Tokyo Metro stations as you go about your business in the city.
Fully compatible with Google Maps, Tokyo Underground 3.0 will conveniently pinpoint the closest train stations, suggesting the best routes available and estimating your travel time. As you move around, the app updates itself via GPS to keep you informed.
That’s not all you can do, however. An in-app purchase option allows you to add your own points of interest to the Tokyo Underground database and then save them to your map. Many different restaurants, leisure spots, and convenience stores can be activated so they show up on your phone.
What makes this app really neat, though, is an update called “Your New Eye,” which is unfortunately only available to iPhone 3GS users (sorry iPod people!). However, those with the iPod can purchase GPS solutions to access similar tracking features as the iPhone. This feature shows you a real-time video screen with little icons that pop up, locating all of your points of interest and metro stations that are within one kilometer.
As you turn the phone or move around, the icons move as well and point out which way you need to go. Talk about an excellent companion for those of us who aren’t too good with directions!
Tokyo Underground, which is available in English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese, costs only 99 cents and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.
While customer feedback does indicate that the application doesn’t interact with all metro lines, the detailed description makes a reference to updates that are still in progress, so hopefully in the near future a more extensive map will show up.
Maybe this app won’t quite do everything for you yet, but I’d still say that the low price and snazzy features combine to make it a pretty good deal. After all, what’s the worst that can happen—getting lost in Tokyo?