UrbanSpoon Goes AR
The latest version of the UrbanSpoon application sports an augmented reality feature called ‘Scope’. Hitting the scope option turns on the camera and as you move around nearby restaurants are shown as bubbles with a handy colour code. Red indicating that the restaurant has excellent reviews, yellow good feedback and grey ok. Placing your iPhone flat switches the view to a top down map with push pins indicating the restaurants location. Clicking on one the restaurants gives you the option to read or leave your own reviews. You are also given the option to take a picture of the menu and have it uploaded for other UrbanSpoon users to see.
The scope function works well, my only criticism is it can’t be filtered to show just your choices. On the application home screen if you indicate you are interested in Brazilian restaurants in Ilford for $$ and hit the scope button it ignores the filter and shows you everything that is around you.
Another annoyance I have which is not the fault of UrbanSpoon but the underlying data is missing restaurants. I live near the best Indian restaurant this side of Bombay but it’s not listed. Neither are the 2 Chinese restaurants that are next door, yet there is a small residential street that has an Indian restaurant listed which I’m sure will be a surprise to the neighbours. UrbanSpoon however does allow you to report closed or new restaurants so it has a community feel to ensure the data is kept up to date.
I was never a fan of the old UrbanSpoon application but the new scope augmented reality functionality adds a whole new dimension so well worth an install, and it’s free too.