Sunday, 21 April 2013

Reality Poem

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK

or LinkedIn here

A week or so ago I was chatting to my local PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) at a Police Surgery at the community library that I am involved with in South Warrington.

We were talking about the levels of crime around the streets we were in and I pulled out my iPhone firing up the CrimeMap App ( ).

Once 'Everything Everywhere' had got its finger out I could see a range of ASB and other pretty minor crimes from up to Feb 2013. I was quite pleased to see that to encounter some violent crime I would need to travel a fair distance! If I needed some drugs it looked like they may only have been twenty minutes walk away.

NB: CrimeMap data only available in England, NI and Wales.

He was amazed I had this in my pocket. It is just one of a range of Augmented Reality ( AR ) apps starting to emerge of interest to the general public and organisations such as RSL’s and other Registered Providers. Initially the realm of wraparound video glasses, the emergence of most of us having smartphones and tablets is bringing AR down to a more useful and practical level.

Layar (  is another cracking app, apparently with 40,000 editors adding content worldwide, great for use within a strange town or city to view what you see differently. Find a museum, a piece of history or a restaurant using a layer put over what you point your tablet at and where your GPS location is. Comments can be added by users and with events can be rendered over the view of the device camera. Additional digital content can be added to print or images. Lonely Planet are one publisher currently onboard.

When abroad after a sticky situation on an overnight train from Madrid to Algeciras many years ago backpacking, I always learn some local language to get by. It’s tempting though to look at apps like Google Translate, which will attempt to translate local signs and text directly, just using your smartphone camera.

The potential this has is a great mash-up of channels, all working to enhance everyone’s day to day experiences of the real world. As you would expect, advertisers are already on board with this. A quick search on the apple store for ‘augmented reality’ gives over 1,400 apps. Excluding games, there are a number of useful apps here, from identifying that plane flying overhead, to sales apps (from companies like Tesco & others) to the NCP car park finder.

How could your organisation innovate using AR for social housing? Downloading that CrimeMap App for your ASB team, to use on the scheme might be a good start!

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Read on to: So is social housing getting the message across yet?

LKJ (Linton Kwesi Johnson) - Reality Poem.

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS If there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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