Sci-fi authors have been talking about augmented reality since cinematographers created the Sensorama, a full-experience viewing booth, around 1957. Since then, it got bulky in the 1990s and irrelevant in the early 2000s. With the advent of smartphones, though, seeing the world through virtual technology is becoming very real.
Mobile browser/app Junaio is one of the first to really capitalize on the idea. You can bring up the app to see a virtual map in front of you that will show you the street you’re on and different layers of information.
It works by some sophisticated programming that opens the lens of your Android device’s camera and allows it to recognize images and name them, the same software that Google Places is beginning to use. In addition to that, Junaio will pinpoint your location with your GPS for an ultra-accurate picture of where you’re at.
Save Money the Easy Way
Remember how your mom used to sit in a pile of coupons with scissors and a warning that you too would do the same one day? Don’t worry, you’re off the hook now. Junaio has paired up with popular discount company Valpak to add a layer to their map that highlights free coupons in your area. Bring up the layer, and you’ll see a list of deals in your immediate area. You can change the radius to show you deals miles away or within a few feet to suit your purposes. The flexibility built into the app will really make this app incredibly useful. Those in the city will find it easier to set their distances closer if they’re walking, while suburbanites can set theirs to distances they’ll easily travel in their SUVs.
Either way, adding a free app that shows you coupons and offers in your area is a ridiculously easy way to save money. It couldn’t be made simpler unless you had a personal valet clip and organize them and walk around with you and shove them in front of cashiers. All you’ll have to do is open the app as it is and show it to retailers.
Explore New Cities…and Buildings
Junaio is fantastic for tourists and frequent flyers. The Near Me portion of the app will show you the names of local highlights and will also help you find everything from the closest public transportation system to even local sale listings from eBay’s classified section.
If you’re indoors and you’re not quite sure which way to go in a convention center, open up Junaio and let it guide you to where you need to go, even if your GPS fails.
But Cut It Some Slack
Junaio is fantastic. It may even change the way we view the world. It definitely will move us closer toward an entire nation buried in their smartphones. It’s going to make us more productive, save us money and even help us get places on time.
However, it’s still a new use of technology and an even newer app. You may find that it won’t run 100 percent perfectly at times. In six months, we may all be glued to it, or we may move beyond it. But downloading it now and experiencing it in its beginning stages will let you in on the fascinating ground level experience that has the potential to change our lives.