Route 66 release first Augmented Reality Navigation App
Article by: Mike Barrett Date: 24 Nov 2011
Back in February at Mobile World Congress we saw a revolutionary new navigation product from Route 66. It has been nine months finalising the software getting it ready for release. Well today is the day!
Route 66 Maps + Navigation with Follow Me is a bit of a mouthful, but does describe the new Android application precisely. What makes this so different from from any other apps is the fact that it is the first to integrate augmented reality into navigation.
This is achieved by superimposing the navigation on top of the view from the phone's camera. To do this the phone needs to be mounted on the windscreen with an unobstructed view of the road ahead.
Once the camera is started the route is overlaid on the live image, when you start to move you will see a mini just ahead of you showing the route you should be taking. There are a number of different modes that can be used including full map, full AR and split screen.
Of course this is much easier to show than describe, and Route 66 have created a video to show the app in action. Read on for more info, to view the movie, some images and the official Route 66 press release…
As they say a picture is worth a thousand words so check out the Route 66 video of the app.
When you install the App you find that there are no maps, but this is not a problem the application will download what it needs on the fly, and it will cache the downloads to optimise your mapping data. This is not ideal for when you travel abroad, or more precisely when you are roaming or have no network coverage. This is not a problem either as there is the option to download country specific maps to your phone.
The following image was taken while testing the app, showing the live view on the screen. As you can see the app has pinpointed the Speed Camera which is visible on the map, in the live view, and out of focus through the windscreen.
Taking a quick screen shot as I was waiting at traffic lights clearly shows the Follow Me car and the route, unfortunately the live view is not captured.
Moving around the maps and into the city you can see the 3D footprints of the buildings, and more impressively the 3D Landmarks.
Click here for our original article from Mobile World Congress earlier this year.
The application is available now on the Android Market as a FREE 30 day trial after which a lifetime licence will cost you €50 or $65. We will shortly be producing a full review of the application, in the mean time here is the official Route 66 press release:
ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation Now Available in Android Market With Unique ‘Follow Me’ Augmented Reality Navigation
• A feature-packed mapping and navigation app for Android smartphones and tablets. • Unique Follow Me™ augmented reality navigation revolutionises mobile navigation. • Unlimited access to maps for over 100 countries, on-board and off-board. • Free download via Android Market, now with 30-day free Worldwide Navigation licence.
Zurich - Switzerland, 24 November 2011 - ROUTE 66, a pioneer in mobile mapping and navigation solutions for smartphones and tablets, today announces the release of ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation in Android Market, offering Android users worldwide a feature-packed new mapping and navigation app utilising the latest maps with 3D enhanced location content and Follow Me Augmented Reality Navigation.
“ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation provides the future of navigation, today,” said Paul Warmer, ROUTE 66 Vice President Marketing. “Follow Me is a breakthrough navigation solution that goes far beyond anything else available today on smartphones and tablets. Add to this free access to on-board and off-board maps for over 100 countries and it becomes clear that ROUTE 66 is about to change the worldwide mobile mapping and navigation market forever.”
ROUTE 66 provides users with a highly innovative and competitive app that stands out in today’s crowded market place in various ways.
• Follow Me augmented reality navigation provides an innovative, smart, and fun way to reach your destination. With just one tap on the screen during navigation users can switch on Follow Me which shows the real road ahead and adds a realistic virtual car driving in front of you and guiding you to your destination. This is augmented reality navigation at its best, where GPS, live video from the camera, detailed maps, and crisp, clear spoken directions all come together to make finding your way more intuitive than ever.
• Detailed Maps with stunning 3D Graphics. ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation provides free lifetime access to 104 different crystal-clear maps utilising lush 3D graphics and packed with links to useful information such as Wikipedia and weather. Users can explore maps in any direction with multi-touch gestures for zooming, moving, tilting, and rotating the view, features available even during turn-by-turn navigation.
• On-board and off-board maps. With ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation users can access map data in various ways. The app automatically downloads map data segments from our high-speed servers to the phone or tablet as you go, providing access to the very latest and most accurate maps whenever it is needed. Users can also choose to store complete maps on their smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi before they go on the road, avoiding data roaming charges while abroad and ensuring instant access with guaranteed performance, whatever the local network reception might be.
• And there is much more: Intuitive ROUTE 66 partial keyword search helps to find locations with less effort. Locations can be turned into destinations with a single tap and reached with accurate turn-by-turn navigation in 57 languages and dialects, clear on-screen guidance, and advanced lane information. Real time traffic information and the latest speed camera warnings are available as premium services.
Availability and Pricing ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation is available as free download via Android Market to Android users running Android OS 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 - 2.3.7 (Eclair, Froyo, and Gingerbread) and offers free access to maps.
Until 31 December 2011 ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation comes with a free 30-day Worldwide Trial licence that includes Navigation (including Follow Me) and free access to premium services like Traffic information and Speed cameras*.
The lifetime Worldwide Navigation licence is available via in-app purchase for EUR 49.99 / USD 64.99 and offers turn-by-turn navigation in over 80 countries*.
* Some services may not be available in all countries, check the in-app ‘Licences’ menu for the latest coverage and pricing in local currencies.
Gosh, its been a while since I have seen anything interesting and new that is worth commenting on. I have to say, I think that I would find this too distracting. It would appaer that you have to keep watching the screen to see where the car you are following has gone. Also my faithful old tomtom is still cleaner, uncluttered and clearer as to which way I should go. The car on the screen seemed to obscure the route, can you turn that off? Still, its a step closer to my utopia stand alone sat nav where the route is projected onto my windscreen as a head up display.
Posted by taits on Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:49 pm
Video looks promising but I believe using both a camera phone and the unit will be a problem. IE; the phone battery will no doubt be used up on long trips. Also I read nothing about turn by turn and as a previous replier mentioned the view with the car as "you" is in the way of the "map" as it were. Side view or screen is good but think it should \could be better.
Innovative approach to mapping to say the least. Hope it gets better.