Yelp's Augmented Reality Easter Egg: An iPhone App First


While you might disagree with Yelp's method of getting their new iPhone Application upgrade through Apple's review process - the fact remains that Yelp has innovated and pushed the boundaries from a consumer, development and process perspective.

To access the Yelp's Augmented Reality mode, download the new application version and shake your iPhone three times. The "Monocle" mode will activate as an easter egg:

monocle Once Monocle mode is enabled, the application combines the iPhone's camera, compass, GPS and Yelp's content. So depending on the direction of where the camera is pointed and where you are located, Yelp overlays the camera with nearby restaurants, bars, stores, etc. It is an interesting experience that is as much a novelty as it is useful... but there are applications of this experience that certainly do make sense: social, commercial and informational. The challenge will be threefold:

1. Simplicity: the user experience can be overwhelming. Presenting it in a clear, user-friendly (aimed at more than early-adopters) is critical for adoption and sustained usage.

2. Content: presenting the right content in the right format is challenging considering the screen size, the actively changing background and the need for geographically relevant content.

3. Technology: The battery, screen and device-size all pose various issues.

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