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 Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman
Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman | Show Photo

Innovation & Job News

Made in Tampa: Tour Wrist iPhone App

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Ever wish you could experience a place before actually going there? Like maybe checking out a restaurant or bar in town? Maybe seeing a city's downtown neighborhoods before stepping foot downtown?

Check out the Tour Wrist, a new iPhone app developed by Tampa's own SPARK LABS, an affiliate of branding agency, SPARK. The Tour Wrist app will allow users to tour places across the globe from their iPhone or iPad. Not just tour the place, but look at the area from side to side, top to bottom, up and down. You can see everything from pavement to street lights.

Tour Wrist has been in development for about two years and version 2.0 officially launched September 1. Charles Armstrong, founder and chief executive officer at SPARK LABS, is the brains behind the Tour Wrist app who helped to bring the augmented reality concept into reality.

The iPhone app itself says "Teleportation is here." While you aren't physically teleported, it almost seems as if you are because you can move through rooms in a fashion that is different than a simple virtual tour. Peek around corners and see what's there or look down a mountain. The app was designed to highlight everything from scenic locations to retail shops.

Using real-time accelerometer and magnetometer data, Tour Wrist's 3D technology can track a person's movement of his or her mobile device and display the imagery in a location based upon that movement. The application pushes the technical functions of iPhone and iPad to their limits, allowing a real-life experience for its users. Armstrong says he and his team are continuously pursuing additional  technology advancements, which includes allowing users to generate their own content.

Within the next two months, Tour Wrist Capture will be launched, which Armstrong describes as a "very simple, easy-to-use application that allows you to waive your devices around to capture your surroundings and post them just as easily as you would post a tweet." Only instead of sharing 140 characters, you share a 360-degree view of your surroundings with anyone who wants to view the area.

Anyone with an iPhone or iPad can check out the Bavarian Alps or travel through Singapore's business district. Searches are available by geography, keyword or popularity of an area.

An added perk to exploring the world via your phone or pad: the Tour Wrist app is free.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Charles Armstrong, SPARK LABS
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