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'Plane Finder AR' Lets You Point Your iPhone Skyward to Track Airplanes

planefinder ar
iPhone geeks can now indulge their inner air-traffic controller, thanks to a new app that takes all of the guesswork out of the classic 'Bird-Plane-Superman' trinary. The app, called 'Plane Finder AR,' combines augmented reality with data from virtual radar maps to track commercial planes passing overhead. All you have to do is point your iPhone at an aircraft, snap a photo, and the app will instantly give you a full slate of details: the flight's registration number, where it's headed, how far away it is, and how fast it's traveling.

According to BoingBoing, however, the $2.99 app seems to work exclusively for planes with ADS-B equipment, and can be used only in places where the developer already has feeds to pick up on a plane's signals. So far, Australia is the only country with full ADS-B coverage, while U.S. carriers have been relatively slow to adopt the equipment. Considering how hypersensitive American authorities are when it comes to airline security, though, it's probably in the developer's best interest to keep this app far away from U.S. soil, anyway.

Tags: airplane, appstore, AugmentedReality, iphone, Iphone3g, Iphone4, IphoneApp, planefinderar, radar, travel