Why The iPhone 3GS Compass Is Important

compassUpdate 2: And people thought I was nuts when I said the compass is important. Apple also seems to have not realized as they are just now working on more video hooks in the current 3.1 betas. Also, check out this video from AcrossAir. Mind blowing…

Update: Here is a much more in-depth posting on the importance of the compass:

The New iPhone Is a Pointing Device For The Real World: The Ground Will Speak.

One of the sleeper hits of the WWDC was the announcement of a magnetometer in the iPhone 3GS. I’m not sure this is getting the attention it deserves as I believe it is truly groundbreaking and will open an entirely new paradigm in mobile computing.

Well, I guess one guy understood the importance (from Gizmodo):

There’s also a built-in digital compass. One guy goes crazy. “A cool compass fan out there,” says Phil.

So what’s so special about a compass? Two hints:

  1. Sky Map for Android (I guess they changed the name from Star Map after Searchology)
  2. Wikitude AR Travel Guide (Top-50 finalist in Google’s Android Developer Challenge)

What I’m getting at is Augmented Reality. This has been a dream of mine for the past 10 years or so, first envisioning the idea as a set of glasses you could wear to annotate and read info on various locations. Later I dreamt of wackier and wackier ideas, but always knew I would never be able to pull it off – the technologies weren’t ready or weren’t cheap enough to go mainstream. Until now.

I’m not going to say much more on this issue… something’s brewing in the lab!

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