Wikitude – the World at Your Fingertips

Imagine you're lost in the centre of Beijing. You look at your map and then back at the road signs, but it's all in Chinese. You want to call a taxi, but can't speak the language, and if you do manage to stop a passing cab with the official "B" license plate, how do you explain your hotel address in Mandarin? Enter your fairy godmother – Wikitude.
This new mobile app is sure to revolutionise the travel information market, dominated by traditional players such as Fodors, Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and other more.
Simply type your destination into your phone and instantly it delivers, by Google magic, a map showing not only your destination, but the distance from your current location (so that's where you are!) and the distance between the two.
Now the panic has subsided, perhaps you're feeling a little peckish. Best search Wikitude for the nearest restaurant for a taste of authentic Beijing duck; after all it knows where you are better than you do. Having already ascertained by the speed of your progress that you are on foot, not in a car, Wikitude will logically choose somewhere within easy walking distance. As you follow the precise directions to lunch, you spot an amazing contemporary building up ahead. Offices? Cultural Centre? Stop guessing and point your smartphone at it, as if to take a photograph. Ah, so that's what the Capital Museum looks like! 
Wikitude is the ultimate AR guide, map, landmark identifier and full up-to-the minute guide book which sits neatly in your pocket on your smartphone. No more heavy travel books to squeeze into your limited luggage allowance. Founded by Austrian developer, Philipp Breuss, Wikitude is still in its infancy, with only 350,000 identifiable points of interest worldwide to date, but the database is expanding at a voracious pace. Even in the early stages, this location-specific tool has sufficient information to be indispensable. It's like taking a business trip or vacation hand-in-hand with an omniscient local, who just happens to speak your language fluently.
The award-winning Wikitude World Browser is the ultimate in augmented reality apps. Whether you are 10 steps from home, or half way around the world, the camera viewer identifies landmarks and even mountain ranges. It goes on to give you all the information you need to know about it using Wikipedia and other relevant sources. It enables users everywhere to locate local restaurants and ATM machines; view relevant Tweets and browse FourSquare information, as well as YouTube videos, Flickr images and more. Couple it with Wikitude Drive for a handy sat-nav experience, then follow the waymarked route to explore new places, or learn more about old haunts.
So how much does all this cost? The app itself is free for Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows Phones, but you do need a mobile payment plan large enough to cover multiple download charges to your phone to make full use of the AR software.
Happy travelling!

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