Daily iPhone app: MoonWalking
Here's some US $0.99 fun for your Monday. MoonWalking is an augmented reality app that superimposes famous scenes from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in your backyard or a nearby park. You can watch the Eagle land, and walk up to it and around it as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take their historic walk around the lunar surface. It lets you have Tranquility Base in your backyard.
To get started, you open the app and right away you will hear some of the actual audio from the landing, as the astronauts talk to mission control. You face north, and soon you will see the Eagle dropping into your neighborhood. Pushing the 'next' button takes you to Armstrong climbing down the ladder for his first step onto the moon. Another scene shows you the astronauts exploring the moon, and a final scene is the take off from the moon.
To make it work smoothly, your motions should be deliberate, giving the iPhone time to get your position right in relation to the augmented reality images. You can walk toward the lander or walk around it and see the perspective change. You can grab stills to save and forward to friends, or you can wipe out your local background and see the normal moonscape.
I enjoyed playing with the app, and turning my neighborhood into the scene of a historic event. One negative is that you can't save or share the video of the scenes, which is the best part of what this app does. The stills are fine, but having the videos would be even better.
I've captured some images you can check out in the gallery. MoonWalking is a clever app that combines some whimsy with the motion and position sensing features of the iPhone.
The app is universal, and runs on the iPad 2 as well as the iPhone 4 and 4S. It requires iOS 4.3 or later. Due to the size of the videos, the app is a 53 MB download. Moonwalking is A-OK. Saved videos would make it perfect.
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