App review: Wikitude shows the world through new eyes

App review: Wikitude shows the world through new eyes

Augmented reality apps are one of the next big things. They add new layers of digital information to the things around us, whether that's video, 3D images, sound or location data.

AR apps have been used for everything from helping us sort out our interior decor to finding out more about the places we visit, finding where we parked our car and helping us be more informed star gazers.

The idea behind Wikitude is it doesn't limit you to one of these apps, it offers a hub for travel-focused AR content providers to showcase their wares. The location-based content is delivered once the app calculates your position using smartphone GPS and wifi, the compass and accelerometer.

It also uses image recognition to launch AR content in the app. Users can get additional layers of information about more than 100 million places and content from thousands of providers.

They can also search for specific places and organise their content into 'worlds', based on what they're interested in.

Some of the well-known providers on board with Wikitude are Yelp, Qype, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com. There are also AR games to play, like Bubble Tap and Alien Attack.

Content is continuously added to because Wikitude has opened its software developer kit for those wanting to develop on the platform. The free app is offered on Google Play, Apple's app store, the Windows Phone Store and even Blackberry App World.