Wednesday 4 August 2010

Lonely Planet Launches New Augmented Reality Guides for Android Users in Australia

Lonely Planet today announced its ‘augmented reality’ Compass Guides are now available for Google Android users in Australia, providing easy to use, mobile access to its best selling city guide content.

Lonely Planet is one of the first travel companies in the world to create augmented reality products for Australian travellers with Android handsets, launching a series of 25 Compass Guides for popular Asian, European and US cities. Anyone with these handsets can now experience travelling with augmented reality technology, where real life is annotated with Lonely Planet travel information.

“This is one of the most innovative things we’ve launched and we’re really excited to see how people use this application,” said Matthew Cashmore, Lonely Planet’s Innovation and Ecosystems Manager.

“The application pinpoints your exact location so that when you find yourself in a new city and want to know what there is to see and do around you, just look through the camera and a wealth of Lonely Planet information on the best destinations, accommodation, sites, bars and restaurants appear stuck like posted notes to points of interest around you,” said Cashmore.

Key features of the Compass Guides include GPS enabled maps and location based information for hundreds of points of interest for every city, while the phone’s built in compass allows users to see their current location and how far or near they are to destinations and sites. The guides also enable travellers to use all content offline (with the exception of the maps) meaning no roaming fees.

Twenty-five Lonely Planet Compass Guides are currently available; Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.

"Lonely Planet's commitment to innovation and new technology is unique. After being the very first travel content publisher to launch augmented reality applications in 2009, it is fantastic to see the next phase and expansion of their mobile product proposition," said Andy Gstoll, CEO Wikitude.

Lonely Planet’s Compass Guides are available for $4.99 USD from the Google Android store (available on all Android powered phones) and will work on all major Android phones back to the very first model, the G1.

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