Emerald Business Systems Blog


UrbanSpoon Makes It Easier to ‘Scope’ Out Restaurants

Posted in Online Business,Restaurant,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on October 15, 2009

Most people using the UrbanSpoon iPhone application give their phones a vigorous shake to serve up a list of restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

But now they have a new way to find a place to get a bite: aim the iPhone at the street and see what restaurants appear onscreen.

UrbanSpoon, one of the most popular apps for the iPhone from Apple, is the latest to make use of augmented reality, a feature that superimposes data or information over the live feed from the phone’s camera.

Augmented reality features and applications, which provide a virtually enhanced vision of the physical world, have been slowly making their way onto smartphones in recent months. One, called Wikitude, displays information about nearby landmarks and points of interest from Wikipedia. Yelp also recently introduced an augmented reality feature called Monocle, which overlays restaurant listings and reviews on the camera’s display.

UrbanSpoon’s new feature, called Scope, is similar to a periscope: point the camera in a direction, and nearby restaurants appear as colored bubbles and contain information about their distance and popularity. Tapping one of the dots delivers more details, like reviews, cuisine style and pricing information.

“Since the beginning, we’ve been trying to find ways to make finding restaurants more fun,” Mr. Lowry said.

The new feature, introduced early Wednesday morning, works only with the third iteration of the iPhone, the 3GS.

One hitch of augmented reality is that it relies on the phone’s GPS to determine what information to display onscreen. Since GPS pinpointing can be slightly off from time to time, the company included a feature that allows users to adjust their position on the map to get a more accurate reading.

via UrbanSpoon Makes It Easier to ‘Scope’ Out Restaurants – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

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