When we got into development of iOS applications, it was the ability to provide location-based services and integration with mapping that really attracted our attention. With a background in destination tourism, all of our previous clients always wanted to include mapping functionality on their web projects.
With the introduction of the iPhone and later, the integration of what Apple calls MapKit, we knew it would finally offer some really interesting opportunities mobile development. Further, augmented reality was always the end goal for our production of apps; having the ability to use the phone to literally point out locations for you during your travels. With that in mind, the technology has finally matured enough to match our plans.
So we area happy to announce the update to PixieSafari 1.1.2. With this update we are adding some great new functionality to our line of apps and PixieSafari is the first app to implement AR; what we are calling PixieDust.
The new Augmented Reality (AR) layer, powered by 3DAR from Spot Metrix, has been integrated into the Attractions map of the app. Simple to use and easily shows the locations of the attractions around you in the park.
HOW TO USE THE NEW AR FEATURE
While holding your phone parallel to the ground, you see the map view and all of the points of interest. But holding your iPhone upright (perpendicular to the ground) the app now uses the iPhone’s camera to pinpoint those same attractions with distance and direction from your location in the park. To return to the standard map simply hold the phone parallel to the ground.
This little bit of PixieDust offers our first AR bit of magic in our PixiePins line of iOS apps.
Once you start the AR view, it may take a moment for the satellites to pinpoint your precise location. During that time, the points may jump a bit until your location is finalized and that is entirely normal and expected behavior.
As with many of our apps, they use the integrated map system of the iPhone and such require an active cellular connection in order to work. The apps will not function properly without cellular access or on the iPod Touch.
We have also:
- Updated park information
- Added detail pages for attractions
- Added detail pages for dining locations
- Added tours of the various lands
- Various fixes and design modifications
- New app icon
Wrapping It Up
We are very excited about this update and what it means for our future apps for the iOS. As far as we know, we are the first to provide an augmented reality view in an app targeted at Disney’s Parks in this manner. We plan on expanding this PixieDust to our new apps in development as well as see how we extend the benefit it may have for our customers as they use our apps in the park. If you have any ideas feel free to contact PixiePins on their site.
The app requires an iPhone with a camera using iOS 5 and is available on the iTunes App Store for ¢0.99 today.
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