We’ve seen some cool uses for Apple’s ARKit and other phone-based augmented reality, but this concept design is one of my personal favorites: an AR overlay for settling guests into an Airbnb rental. It’s like a real-life version of the tutorial interface in a video game, except instead of telling you that you can open grates to sneak into locked rooms, it shows you how to use the thermostat or find a first-aid kit. (It’s also a clever replacement for taping notes to the wall, which is probably more accurate, but less fun to imagine.)
The concept was made by interface designer Isil Uzum, who imagines combining the augmented reality capabilities of ARKit or Google’s Project Tango with a smartphone’s location-sensing features. Airbnb hosts could pin notes or videos to specific places or objects, and guests could see these points of interest listed in their Airbnb app. They could select one, hold up their own phones, and see an arrow pointing them in the right direction. When they got near it, a pop-up overlay could deliver information or instructions. Uzum has a longer explanation with some more notes here.
This is just a design idea, not an actual app or something affiliated with Airbnb. I’m not sure how well it would work in a real-world Airbnb rental, because it looks like it would require some extremely precise geotagging (possibly with something like a Bluetooth beacon) and image recognition, not your standard augmented reality spatial tracking. The idea of tagging virtual notes to a real space isn’t new at all; Microsoft HoloLens developers have imagined using such a system on construction sites, for instance. But this is a pretty clever use of the idea, and something I could easily imagine a company like Airbnb testing for themselves — although a spokesperson apparently told Cnet that for now, AR is just “an area we’re currently exploring.”