Tokyo-based tech start-up led by Takahito Iguchi(@iguchi), a self-styled Willy Wonka who made an unique presentation at last year’s edition of TechCrunch 50, Tonchidot finally released an augmented reality (AR) iPhone app Sekai Camera on Thursday, it’s now available at AppStore for free of charge.
In time with the release of the app, Mr. Iguchi made a special presentation at Tokyo Game Show 2009 which is now being held, as well as giving his special contribution to TechCrunch Japan[J], and he talked about their long journey from concept making process to final the app.
As the first trial of business use of the app, which aims at finding a way to make money, Sekai Camera-installed iPhone devices are now provided at a flagship store of Spanish luxury brand LOEWE, in order to make it smarter to explain the details of the brand’s newly released items to store visitors.
The following video shows you a press briefing that has been jointly made by Tonchidot and LOEWE’s owner Louis Vuitton. It was shot by Macintosh-related video news shooter LivenMac.
Meanwhile, Paris-based iPhone app developer Presselite also just released the Tokyo edition of an AR app called Bionic Eye, which is also available at AppStore for USD1 or JPY115. Compared to Sekai Camera on which tags associated with real-existing buildings and premises are expected to be added by the app users, Bionic Eye is more focusing on finding coffee shops and fast-food restaurants nearby by combination of Google Map and shop geo-location database containing over 100,000 POIs (point of interest) prepared by the app developer.
Sekai Camera is designed for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, and its compass feature does not work with iPhone 3G. Bionic Eye is intended only for iPhone 3GS.
A day passed since the two epoch-making apps have been released. We could witness not a few persons held their iPhone at the ready to shoot pictures around the city (probably for enjoying AR apps). Some people warn that we should be so careful not to be misconsidered as we peep. Otherwise, AR-ing in the town has some risks that you may be suspected as a candid shot shooter by passer-byes and be questioned by the police.