Reality Becoming More Augmented Daily

One of the projections many folks had for this year was the growth of mobile applications that could use browsers, cameras, GPS and compass built into the current generation of phones to layer data on the view from a phone’s camera. The so-called augmented reality this produces is something that is amazing to witness and will become standard fare soon.

augmented reality
Yelp overlays reviews as the phone camera is pointed at businesses.

College campuses are using it to make it easier for students to find classes, Commuters are using subway apps to find the nearest station Disney World has an app for the park, Yelp! provides reviews of businesses as you point your phone down the street, museums are giving guided tours with apps, and the YouTube app allows you to find videos people have made about places you are visiting.

These applications will grow and eventually spill over into the small business arena as every day utilities. Augmented reality platform creators are making it much easier for anyone with a data source to build an app and bring it to the smart phone user. Sites like Layer and Junaio have built the framework for augmented reality application developers.

Just today Rofo Partners announced that it is launching a commercial real estate augmented reality application with Junaio that allows people discover available office properties while driving down that street.

So, what data could you overlay in an app? Menus, products, staff bios, success stories videos? If in the future a camera is pointed at you what will it say?

Scan Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Reclaim Facebook PrivacyIn a fitting follow-up to yesterday’s post about unchecked privacy I thought I would share a tool that makes keeping track of evolving privacy settings from Facebook “privacy is dead” point of view.

As Facebook wrestles with how far to change its policies regarding public and private a number of organizations have seized the opportunity to provide open and independent information about the best ways to evolve with Facebook. has even created a tool that scans your privacy settings and warns you about settings that might be unexpectedly public – most notably the new Instant Personalization feature that everyone was opted into by default. (The source code for the bookmarklet is open and available, which should provide some assurance that the app itself is not somehow compromising your privacy.)

Here’s how to scan your privacy settings

  1. Drag this link to your web browser bookmarks bar: Scan for Privacy
  2. Log in to and then click that bookmark
  3. You will see a series of privacy scans that inspect your privacy settings and warn you about settings that might be unexpectedly public.

Weekend Favs May Fifteen

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week. I don't go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting.…

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