APP OF THE DAY: Aurasma Lite review - (Spurs fans download now)
If you’re reading this before 4:45pm GMT on Sunday 2 October 2011, you’re a Spurs fan and you happen to own either an Android or Apple smartphone, then you’re in luck. Pocket-lint’s App of the Day is not something exclusive to you, but you’re going to get some very nice half time entertainment if you remember to download before the home leg of the North London Derby.
Should you not be a member of the group above, then, fear not, it’s still worth a download. So, fingers on the trigger all the same.
The "Lite" part of the Aurasma Lite app rather cheapens it but, given that there’s currently no paid version of Aurasma out there, then you can rest assured that your free download - which this is - is fully featured. So, what the hell does it do, you might be asking yourself.
Aurasma is an augmented reality browser platform that uses your mobile phone’s camera to examine pictures from the outside world; it searches for images and patterns that it can match up with images and patterns that it has logged and recorded up in the cloud on the Aurasma servers. Once it makes a match, the servers then send down whatever video or stills image content associated to play on your phone's screen.
In the case of Spurs, the club’s sponsor this year happens to be Autonomy which owns Aurasma. So what both Tottenham and its sponsor have organised is that if you hold your phone’s camera up to the Aurasma shirt logo at half time on Derby Day, you’ll get a load of footage of the best goals scored by Spurs in the Premier League so far this season. Thanks to Spurs’s 4-0 demolition of Liverpool the other weekend, it won’t be such a short video after all. Whether there will be the opportunity to add on any more after the first 45 minutes against Arsenal remains to be seen.
Beyond the football, what makes Aurasma Lite quite a nice app to have on your phone is that it offers something more than your run of the mill AR browser. Not only is it possible to consume AR in certain places, but you can actually create AR tags for your friends as well. These are known as "Anywheres" in Aurasma speak.
You take a picture of an image that you’d like to create an Anywhere around. In the case of Spurs, it’s the Aurasma logo but it can be anything with a vaguely distinctive pattern. There’s a little bar at the bottom of the screen that indicates how well the object in your viewfinder is going to work before you snap it.
Once you’ve got that sorted, you can choose a still or video clip to associate with it by selecting one from your phone’s image library or taking a look through the Blinkx video search engine and all of the 35 million hours of footage therein. Arrange the angle at which you’d like the content to appear and then you’re done. All that’s left is to share your Anywhere with friends via Facebook, Twitter, SMS or email.
In practice, it doesn’t work perfectly but it’s not at all bad. The key is to create a really good tag pattern in the first place, so make sure to pick something clear and distinctive. The camera app doesn’t always start up properly either but, as with most AR stuff, it’s a decent start.
Quite how the system will manage to stand up at White Hart Lane under the strain of 35,000 people giving it a go at the same time, when it’s barely even possible to send a text message at half time at a football game in the UK, will be interesting to see.
Check out our best apps for the football season 2011/2012