The concept of the "Show Me" feature is the ability to use the built in camera on the iPhone as a filter to see where services (points of interest) exist on the VA campus and to provide direction/navigation to the patient's next appointment. The iPhone's display would show not only more information on surroundings with an option to drill into that information but also provide guidance for the patient's next appointment visually overlaid on the camera's view.
The functionality is invoked by simply tilting the iPhone to a vertical position. As the phone is tilted "up" the screen changes from the application's interface to a live view from the camera with overlaid points of interest information.
The iPhone's accelerometer system is used to detect the physical orientation of the iPhone while the iPhone's positioning system (GPS, WPS and CPS) is used to identify the location of the camera. Point of interest information is then overlaid in real time on the visual display coming from the camera to the iPhone's screen. An example of this approach used in the "Nearest Tube" iPhone application is presented to the right.
In this image to the right, the points of interest are drawn over the live image being presented on the screen of the iphone as the iphone is pointed down the street.
As the phone is turned in various directions (rotated on the horizontal access as the user turns) , the camera displays the new scene while the GPS records the change in orientation. Using the GPS's new position, the point of interest information is then updated upon the display overlaid upon the camera scene giving the appearance of the information blocks being anchored to the objects (walls, doors, floors) in the camera's view.
As the phone is rotated downwards to the horizontal again, the visual turns back into into the main application screen.
Taking this approach one step further, when pointing the iPhone camera down a hallway (holding the camera vertical or near vertical), the patient will see the names of the department/offices/doorways. If the patient has an appointment scheduled, a line will appear on the floors or walls indicating the recommended direction of travel reminiscent of the days when hospital hallways had colored lines on the floor to assist in navigation. These lines are dynamic and show additional information such as minutes from destination based upon the patients travel and or the appointment time.
For more information about the "augmented reality" concept, see http://www.acrossair.com/
, creators of the Nearest Tube and Nearest Wiki
iPhone applications. Don't miss the Washington Nearest Metro
application utilizing this technique.
From the AcrossAir web site, in reference to the Washington Nearest Metro application:
"When you load the app, holding it flat, all 5 lines of the Washington Metro are displayed in coloured arrows. By tilting the phone upwards, you will see the nearest stations: what direction they are in relation to your location, how many miles away they are and what lines they are on. If you continue to tilt the phone upwards, you will see stations further away, as stacked icons."