LG Optimus 7 and Quantum Windows Phone 7 handsets come with quite a few exclusive apps preinstalled by Korean Vendor. One of the more interesting among them is Augmented Reality/Search app, called ScanSearch. For now, this LG exclusive seems to be the only Augmented Reality app available for Windows Phone 7 OS.
ScanSearch takes your position from GPS sensor in your phone and performs a local search for that place in Google or Bing. Then it overlays various places of interest like Hotels, Restaurants, Banks/ATM, etc; on top of the live camera feed in your phone display. ScanSearch also uses the compass, built-into LG Optimus 7/Quantum, to figure out which direction your handset is facing. And as you move the phone around, the interesting places that can be found in the direction your phone camera is facing at the moment, start popping on the screen.
ScanSearch is one of those apps that have a huge “Wow” or bragging value. When you launch ScanSearch and start showing local restaurants, shops and schools popping up on screen all around you – “Wow, that’s really cool” is an inevitable reaction, especially from those, friends and strangers alike, who have yet to upgrade their phones to smartphones.
However, a lot of these “Wow” apps end up being used only for that, and remain mostly forgotten when you start using your smartphone to go about your life. To figure out how much empty “Wow” and how much real usefulness is in LG Optimus 7 ScanSearch, I decided to forgo Bing Maps and used only SS app to get around Dublin when I had a few hours of sightseeing time on my recent trip there.
Here’s a video of how I fared exploring Dublin with ScanSearch app on LG Optimus 7:
If you are too lazy to watch the video , the short version is – I fared great.
I had only a couple of hours of free time to check out Central Dublin, and do some present shopping there. So I got what my guides said should be a pretty central place – O’Connel Street station. From there, I fired up ScanSearch on my Optimus 7 and told it to do a search for shopping places. Then I turned a full circle, pointing Optimus 7 camera in front of me, to see which way the biggest concentration of shops happened to be. Checked out if it’s not too far and walked in that direction. I got to a popular shopping area without a hitch, making only a couple of stops to ScanSearch and be sure I was moving in the right direction. When I got there, ScanSearch helped me find the nearest ATM for some additional cash, and when I was finished, lead me well enough to the nearest train stop, to take me home.
Al-in –all, I was pretty impressed with Scan Search. It is not a replacement for Maps and Navigation apps, which are still a must when setting more complex routes, planning trips, etc;. But for quick orientation, walkabouts and finding interesting stuff on the spot, ScanSearch works great, especially when figuring things on the smartphone mapping app is too bothersome.
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