Yelp, the popular online guide where anyone can post reviews of local businesses, has recently updated its iPhone app to version 3.0.0. Robert Scoble found a hidden Easter Egg in this new version that provides an augmented reality view via the iPhone’s camera, requiring only 3 shakes of the iPhone to activate it. This hidden feature, dubbed Monocle, needs to know your location and orientation to accurately show reviewed businesses around you and works only on the iPhone 3GS model with its built-in digital compass.
Robert Scoble gives these directions to activate the Easter Egg:
Download the new Yelp app (came out yesterday). So you shake your iPhone 3 times. That activates a feature called Monocle. A message should come up if you activated it. A blue box will come up saying “the Monocle has been activated.” It will create a button in the top right corner. Now you should be able to look at the bars, restaurants, etc. Only works on iPhone 3GS.
Mashable has posted a video demonstrating how the augmented reality feature works:
After brief testing with an iPhone 3GS, this new feature in the Yelp app is pretty damn cool. This first example of augmented reality on the iPhone is exciting and immediately prompts thoughts about other possible uses for it. Imagine a GPS app that could show real-time guidance overlaid on the view through the iPhone’s camera, or an app that could show tourist attraction information around you in the same way while you’re vacationing in a new city. The future of iPhone apps just got a lot more interesting.