The Elevator Pitch
This review actually covers two different apps which attack the same problem with slightly different experiences. Which you choose would be based on personal reference. Both let you use augmented reality ,combining what your phone’s camera sees overlaid with information about what you are looking at, in this case which mountain peaks are on the horizon. I have used earlier attempts at an app like this and was always disappointed with the results.
With the launch of PeakFinder and PeakVisor you now have a neat little app that helps you understand what you are looking at as you make your way around our beautiful country. Both apps work in a similar manner albeit with different graphical styles.
Functionalities and Scenarios
Both apps are remarkably similar in their initial screens. Using your phone’s GPS locator and the accelerometer the apps quick overlay labels on the mountain peaks that you see through your phone’s camera lens.
PeakFinder’s default interface is a detailed black & white interface that shows the landscape in simple lines. By clicking the camera button it converts to an augmented reality mode where you can then calibrate what your camera is seeing with the outline of the peaks. The standard screen also includes the Sun’s path across the sky along with its sunset time. You can zoom in and out of the map as required and if you select a peak it will then fly you to the top of that mountain and show the view (in a detailed black & white interface) from that specific mountain. This is actually an interesting way to jump from peak to peak as you explore Switzerland.
PeakVisor, on the other hand, defaults to an augmented reality view and also provides additional information about each mountain peak when selectted. You can also make peaks in your favorites list. Beyond that, PeakVisor works in similar fashion as the other app.
Augmented reality apps are amongst the more fun apps to play around with and both PeakFinder and PeakVisor fit that bill. The apps are easy to use and the only initial difficulty is the calibration needed to match the camera’s reality with the peaks overlaid on the app. Your phone’s GPS is accurate but needs that extra last bit of manual effort to match everything up.
These apps are best used when you are on a mountain adventure and you want to understand the context of what is around you. It’s been a joy of mine to slowly understand where I am at any given moment and where I am in context with the famous peaks and valleys of Switzerland. These apps will help you develop that context and impress your visitors when you show off the app.
Price : CHF 5.00 (Swiss
Price : $3.99