Because Car Owners' Manuals Are So 2010

For some of its car models, Audi has provided a free augmented reality app that allows an owner to get information about a certain component simply by pointing a mobile device at it.

What's the Latest Development?

Owners of the Audi A3 can now get a little extra help with their cars, thanks to an augmented reality app created in conjunction with software developer Metaio. eKurzInfo contains information about over 300 components, both inside the passenger compartment and under the hood. Accessing this data is as simple as pointing the device at the component. A video demonstrating the feature shows how the app can call attention to potential problems: It can tell the owner what it means when the coolant temperature gauge is in the red zone, as well as where to put more coolant. For now, the free app is only available for iOS; an Android version is forthcoming.

What's the Big Idea?

In addition to saving owners time spent looking for and then flipping through a paper manual, the eKurzInfo app never has to be updated, since its data comes from the cloud. In a press release on the Metaio Web site, CEO Dr. Thomas Alt says, "We see enormous potential in the field of interactive service applications. In the future it will be possible to automatically retrieve the specific information relevant in a certain situation." The new app joins a similar version for the A1 model; that app was nominated for a 2013 Global Mobile Award.

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