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Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The First of Its Kind: Official Laguna Beach App Makes Its Debut on July 6th Introducing – Trolley Tracker and ‘Come to Life’ functions

The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau, in partnership with the City of Laguna Beach and Phondini Partners, will launch the Official Laguna Beach Travel Info Mobile App on July 6, 2012. Introducing a ‘Come to Life’ augmented reality feature powered by Aurasma and a local “Trolley Tracker” utilizing GPS information, the app is in beta phase through July 5th.

Visitors and residents alike can download the official Laguna Beach Travel Info app to navigate their way through Laguna Beach. The current weather, tide tables, maps, and real-time local transit information can be found via GPS while in town. “For the first-time ever, riders this summer will have the ability to stand at a trolley stop and see where the next trolley is in proximity to their location,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Jane Egly.

App users will also have the ability to search hotel, restaurant, shopping and activities in addition to viewing a local events calendar. Getaway offers and app-only specials will be available to subscribers in the fall. “We are extremely grateful to all of our partners who have worked to bring the free Laguna Beach app to market for so many people,” stated Judy Bijlani, President & CEO of the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau.

The LBVCB has partnered with Aurasma, an HP Company, and embedded the powerful image recognition software within the Laguna Beach app.  Users of iPhones (3Gs and above), iPads (iPad 2 and above) and high-powered Android devices (2.2 and above) will be able to download the Laguna Beach app from the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon.  By simply clicking on ‘Come to Life’ from the main menu screen, residents and visitors can scan photos coded with the lifeguard tower icon within the new Laguna Beach Visitors Guide, and see them ‘come to life’ through the use of video providing an opportunity to learn more about the triggered image. 

In addition, a GPS-driven map will provide clues (‘auras’) to other places throughout town where the ‘Come to Life’ function will be able to be used in conjunction with points of interest, art and more.  Updates throughout 2012-13 will provide more ‘locational auras’ and ever-growing opportunities for using the functionality.

Jennifer Rapp, Aurasma’s general manager, added, “It’s been a pleasure working with the LBVCB, because they’re open and eager to introduce Aurasma’s cutting-edge technology to the city’s regular influx of global travelers.  As one of the top tourist destinations on the west coast, Aurasma’s augmented reality companion gives the millions of annual visitors the flexibility and independence to learn about the city’s tourist attractions in a convenient and interactive mobile experience.  We are proud to see Aurasma’s platform being integrated into a longer-term strategy that has the potential to make Laguna Beach the very first completely augmented destination!”
Aurasma, the world’s leading augmented reality platform, represents the future of how we will use our mobile devices.  Aurasma brings the physical and virtual worlds together for the first time and recognizes images, symbols and objects in the real world.  The opportunity to leverage the Aurasma software as part of the official Laguna Beach app was brought to the Bureau by local artist Roark Gourley.  Visitors to Roark’s summer showing at seven-degrees in Laguna Canyon will be able to utilize the Laguna Beach app to watch art come to life. Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau Board Member, Mark Orgill, spearheaded bringing the App to fruition.
“We're very excited to be working with the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau and the City of Laguna Beach on this breakthrough mobile application, featuring a number of firsts in its category,” said Joe Falcone, managing partner and founder of Phondini Partners.

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