A company called WorkSnug has announced an iPhone application that uses augmented reality to help you find quiet places where you can log on to a Wi-Fi signal and work in London.
The app overlays locations onto the world around you using the iPhone 3GS's internal compass, but it does a little more than that, too. WorkSnug has visited just a bunch of the locations that it displays - around 200 - and rated them based on a number of factors - power point availability, atmosphere, and noise level.
The team is relying on a crowd-sourcing approach to building that database further - the ability to submit your own locations, and your own reviews for existing locations, to the database is embedded in the app - you can use Twitter or email to submit, we were told by the company.
Locations are placed into a number of categories, and it's possible to filter out locations that you're not interested in - Starbucks, for example, makes up 1/3 of the available locations, or you could filter out locations where web access has to be paid for.
The team is planning San Francisco next, and then New York after that - building up to five cities available before the end of the year. The app is funded by Plantronics, who hope to sell noise-cancelling equipment to people who find their chosen location a bit on the loud side.
The application has been submitted to the App Store, though hasn't been approved yet. It's free, though thanks to the compass functionality, it's only available on the iPhone 3GS. We enquired if a non-AR version would be available for the iPhone 3G, and were told "we may do that" - the team did, however, confirm an Android application coming soon.