LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Businesses are racing to incorporate a new technology dubbed augmented reality into as many cellphone and tablet computer applications as they can, experts say.
The same technology TV sportscasts use to digitally paint a first-down line on a football field, adapted and updated for camera-equipped smartphones and tablet computers, can call up a menu of a restaurant you point your device toward, or give details of which houses on a residential street are for sale, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"In the future, you'll be able to point your device at anything around you and, without prompting, that device will recognize what is there, incorporate your interests, and layer on information about what you're looking at," Brian Blau, research director at Gartner Inc., said. "Point a phone at a building, you'll see the history, for example. Or at a flower, the kind of flower comes up."
With the widespread adoption of smartphones equipped with GPS chips to determine where the devices are and electronic compasses to determine what they're looking at, applications incorporating AR are exploding, analysts say, with about 6 million such applications download in 2010.