Sure, Blippar was first to market with an AR navigation app for iPhones (and iPads) compatible with ARKit, but does it know how to party? Hotstepper does.
Released on Tuesday on Apple's App Store, Hotstepper boasts a novel approach to navigation, employing an eponymous avatar, described in the app as "a confident dude who just loves to dance," as your walking companion.
The Hotstepper knows how to party. How do we know? He's got a purple beard and a beer belly. He's shirtless, but he's wearing sunglasses, flip-flops, speedos, and what appears to be a marching band hat. And he has his own minimalist electronic dance soundtrack. I assume he's related to Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski in some way.
Navigation in the app appears to be limited to walking to a known destination. You can either select your destination on the map, which is powered by AR mapping platform Mapbox, or you can search for a location. However, search functionality isn't as robust as what you would find in Google Maps.
Once your bearings are set, The Hotstepper struts and shimmies along the route in front of you. As expected for something so outrageous, you can capture the action in photos and video. (Just be sure to use the share button to save the video rather than hitting the save button on the video preview screen.)
Don't rely on The Hotstepper to give you directions, though. Dude, he's just here to have a good time. In terms of actual directions, you need to pay attention to the navigation arrows on screen, because this dude will just keep prancing along even if you don't make that important turn on your route. Once you arrive at your destination, The Hotstepper celebrates like he just scored a touchdown.
Ultimately, Hotstepper takes a creative approach to a utilitarian function, but it falls a bit short when it comes to the actual utility. But, whatever, man. Does it offer a more entertaining alternative to walking from party to party on a Saturday night? Sure, why not? And who doesn't need a perpetually partying, Speedo-wearing, bearded bro with all the right moves to dance away those lonelier walking trips?
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