Retail Outlets Jump Into the iPhone’s Augmented Reality

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Helping you find your latté

On the off chance you've ever had trouble finding a Starbucks – perhaps somewhere in the middle of Death Valley – now you can point your iPhone down the street and get instant directions to the nearest $5 cup of coffee.

Papa John's Pizza is also getting in on the augmented reality fun through a lucrative sponsorship of the iPhone's latest augmented offering: WorldSurfer by GeoVector.

Point your iPhone in any direction, so the idea goes, and the built in GPS will tell you where the nearest undercooked slice of dough is.

GeoVector and other augmented reality companies are making a lot of dough by catering to Big Pizza. Find out why augmented reality will make sating your lust for chicken wings easier than ever before.

For Starbucks, it isn't enough to expand onto nearly every corner in an urban area. Studies have shown consumers consider it a hassle to cross the street for a Starbucks (hence why D.C. has an infamous four-corner intersection with three of the S-Buxes), so there's big money in making sure people know where their local java joints are at all times.

Augmented reality is portable and on-demand. No more opening up the iPhone's map function, clicking around to open up the search panel, typing in "Papa John's" and waiting for the screen to load. Augmented reality provides directions and reams more information with the ease of pointing the iPhone camera at, well, anything.

In the past three weeks, we've noticed the media covering augmented reality to no end. Pixels and Policy even hosted an Augmented Reality Week two weeks ago. Augmented assistance has captured the imaginations of consumers, and this has set off giant dollar sign lights in the eyes of large corporations.

Despite only working on the most recent iPhones (since they have a compass) and normally falling on the expensive side of the App Store, augmented reality products are among the most popular iPhone downloads. This much popularity despite a user base limited to the newest iPhone bodes well for augmented reality technology.