Augmented Reality Yelp Will Murder All Other iPhone Restaurant Apps, My Health

By John Herrman, 4:21 PM on Thu Aug 27 2009 (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

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iPhone 3GS users, try this: Go to the App Store, download Yelp, and shake your phone three times. What happens next should make anyone who eats smile, and anyone who makes review apps tremble: Yelp’s got augmented reality.

The secret feature, called Monocle, works a lot like the other AR apps we’ve seen so far for the iPhone and Android, except instead of overlaying subway stops or Netherlands real estate onto a live camera view, it hang up little icons for Yelp-reviewed establishments—including restaurants—letting you know exactly where, and how far away from your mouth, they are.

This is one of the first iPhone apps to use this style of augmented reality, which isn’t really supposed to come of age until iPhone OS 3.1. Yelp doesn’t explicitly mention this feature in their App Store listing, which I’ll take to mean they’re still in the testing stages. That won’t stop me from using the shit out of this thing, until my stomach literally ruptures. [MashableUpdated with tastier image, courtesy of commenter Camerony]

Taste Test is our weeklong tribute to the leaps that occur when technology meets cuisine, spanning everything from the historic breakthroughs that made food tastier and safer to the Earl-Grey-friendly replicators we impatiently await in the future.

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