Pokemon Go seems to be taking over the world lately. How does Pokemon Go translate to the travel industry? Well, apparently there are already some eager entrepreneurs offering Pokemon Go tours, but I'm way more interested in the technology than actually catching Pikachu. Augmented reality, the technology that superimposes the computer generated layer over the real world, is already in the travel industry through some fun and useful applications.
Shangoo is a fun app that helps you see the weather up to 5 days ahead. The app overlays real-time 3D weather effects connected to real weather forecasts showing you clouds, sun, thunderstorms, rain, snow, and even fog.
You can change the forecast from morning to night, afternoon, and evening. The app also allows social sharing and you can check your current location or any city around the world. You can still check the weather using traditional apps or the newspaper - but using Shangoo, now you can SEE the weather in your exact location before it even happens!
Yelp & Yelp Monocle
Yelp is probably already on your phone - but have you used Yelp Monacle? In the Yelp app (not a separate app!), click the "more" button on the bottom right side, scroll down and select "Monocle" and voila! Instantly you can see restaurants and bars along with ratings, distance, price, and the address on your screen.
At the bottom of the screen you can choose between restaurants and bars - or see everything. If you lay your phone flat on the table, you see a map with your location and everything around you with all the information you expect from Yelp. You don't have to download a different app to use Yelp Monocle - it's already in the Yelp app.
Metro AR Pro
Metro AR Pro is an augmented reality app that shows you the nearest metro station while you're out touring the sights. Sometimes it can be hard to spot the subway stations in an unfamiliar city since they always seem to blend in with their surroundings. With this app, you can shake it to activate camera mode and use the augmented reality and walk directly to the metro station. So far the app supports all subways in Japan, South Korea, Paris, and London as well as New York, Chicago, and Mexico.
Wikitude is so much fun, and one of my favorites to use. You've used Wikipedia before to read about interesting things - now have it at your fingertips when you're out playing tourist and standing in front of something you want to know more about. Using the camera, the app overlays points of interest on the world around you. When you find something you want to look up, you can tap on it on your screen and read a short description about it. After reading the brief information included in the app, you can click through to the wikipedia page on that topic, or ask the app to route you to that point of interest.