Let's face it: dedicated GPS systems are not perfect. From time to time the maps look nothing like the route you're driving, the device doesn't recognize newer roads (if you missed a software update), and it's bulky to carry out of the car to prevent theft. Looking to making navigation more realistic and convenient, the mobile augmented reality shop Wikitude just released the AR navigation app Wikitude Drive for Android smartphones.
Rather than display a 2D map a line to show you where to go, the Wikitude Drive app uses your phone's built-in camera to show a live view of the road you're driving on and overlays your route on top. So when you are looking at the app, you're technically still keeping your eyes on the road. It also comes with digital 3D maps from Navteq to help with trip planning and night driving, voice commands, as well as turn-by-turn navigation that traditional GPS systems have.
But unlike other GPS devices, the Wikitude Drive app is constantly updating its data so you won't have to maintain the app, but the downside is that it sounds like a battery drain. It also has the convenience of existing on your phone, so when you bring your phone out of the car, the app will continue to navigate you by directing you to interested places on foot. Check out the video of the Wikitude app in action:
Before you rush to the Android Market to search for the app though, a couple of caveats. At the moment, Wikitude Drive only works on a limited number of Android phones, specifically: Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony Xperia X8, HTC Desire, Nexus One and LG GT540 Optimus. You would probably need a car charger to go along with these phones as no smartphone battery can last an entire road trip.
The Wikitude Drive app is available now on Android Market for $9.99.