Augmented reality is finally starting to come into its own. The technology, which shows virtual content overlaid on your phone’s view of the real world, made news last week when furniture-maker Ikea added an augmented reality function to its catalogue app.
Now, it’s carmaker Audi that’s winning headlines with an augmented reality application. The company's recently updated eKurzinfo iOS app allows owners of an Audi A1 or A3 sedan to demystify 300 buttons, warning lights and engine components, all by pointing an iPhone at the unknown features.
Say a warning light comes on in your car that you don’t immediately recognize. Just open the app and aim your phone’s camera at the light. eKurzinfo will be able to give you a detailed explanation of what the light means, and how to fix what’s wrong. The app can even help you navigate the mysteries hiding under your car’s hood, showing exactly where top off your car's fluids. That's good information to have to keep from pouring oil in your brand new luxury vehicle's windshield fluid tank.
The eKurzinfo system is a terrific application of augmented reality technology – one we could see other carmakers embrace in the future. After all, the tech is readily available now and relatively inexpensive to implement.
The eKurzinfo app is currently only available for German iPhone owners, likely until the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan reaches U.S. shores in early 2014. The app is a free download for iOS devices, but really, it’s useless without spending $27,000+ on a new Audi first.