When BlackBerry® 7 OS was released in August 2011, one of the pre-installed apps is the Wikitude app, which allows you to discover your surroundings in a completely new way. For example, you’ll be able to see places, points of interests and even your BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) contacts (if they have allowed you to be able to view them) through your camera’s field of vision – a truly engaging and immersive experience.
Recently Wikitude has been updated to support select BlackBerry® 6 smartphones, so today I’ll be providing a brief overview of how to install Wikitude as well as some of the features it offers.
Before we begin, BlackBerry 6 smartphones do not contain a compass which means you will not be able to use the Augmented Reality mode. You can however use the Wikitude World Browser in list, and map view mode which still allow you explore your surroundings in depth!
For those using BlackBerry 7, the Wikitude World Browser is pre-installed and can be found in the Applications folder. In the event you removed it, you can re-install the BlackBerry 7 edition of Wikitude World Browser from BlackBerry App World. Search for it or scan the following barcode using BlackBerry App World (Press Menu -> Scan a Barcode)
If you are using a BlackBerry 6 smartphone to install Wikitude launch BlackBerry App World and search for “Wikitude for OS6”. You can also scan the barcode below using BlackBerry App World (Press Menu -> Scan a Barcode). Please ensure you review the requirements which can be found along the right hand side of the BlackBerry App World desktop storefront page for Wikitude as some which BlackBerry 6 smartphones are supported.
After installation, open Wikitude by selecting its icon – it will either be on the Home screen or within the Applications folder. When you open Wikitude for the first time, you’ll be asked to specify how you would like to connect it with BBM. Connecting BBM with Wikitude allows you to pan around your surroundings to see your BBM contacts and chat with them. If you choose, you may even find new friends in your vicinity.
To control how you appear when using Wikitude, you can choose from one of the following settings:
- Invisible (Grey) – No one can see you and no BBM information is shared.
- Contacts (Blue) – All your BBM address book contacts can see you.
- Public (Green) – All BBM users can see you.
Depending on the setting you specified above, you may be sharing your location, BBM display-name, BBM status message, and BBM avatar with other BBM users. You will now be asked if you’d like to connect Wikitude to BBM, which is required if you want to see other BBM contacts who have chosen to be visible in Wikitude. Privacy and BBM Connected Application settings can be modified in the future by accessing Wikitude Settings using the Menu key.
After specifying your BBM settings, you’ll be shown the Wikitude Home screen, which contains icons that represent various points of interests (POI) which are called Worlds. To add and remove Worlds, tap on the Browse Worlds icon, and you’ll be able to select which Worlds appear when you open Wikitude by selecting the star icon that appears on the right.
To start exploring, tap on the World you’d like to see, such as BBM Chat. Since Wikitude can leverage the Compass functionality built into select BlackBerry smartphones, you’ll be asked to calibrate the Compass if it hasn’t been used before. If this screen appears, follow the directions and move the BlackBerry smartphone around several times until it vibrates, which indicates the Compass is calibrated. To learn more about the Compass, check out my post on How to set up and use the Compass in BlackBerry 7.
After calibration is completed, Wikitude will display BBM contacts that are around you, depending on their Privacy setting, in the Cam View if they have allowed this in their settings. This view uses the camera and overlays BBM contacts in your vicinity so you can meet up with your contacts or some new people if desired. Remember, if you want to avoid sharing your BBM contact information, you must use the permission ‘Invisible’ that is mentioned earlier in this post.
You can easily identify what permissions you’ve set for BBM by looking at the top right corner and reviewing the BBM privacy status icon. A green dot means you are sharing your BBM details publicly; blue represents that you are sharing with your BBM Contacts only; grey means you are not sharing any BBM details. In the screenshot above, a green dot appears in the top right corner, so I know that I am sharing my BBM details publicly.
In addition to your BBM privacy status icon, the other icons in the top corner are different views you can use to explore Worlds in Wikipedia. The first icon is the List view, which lists out POIs around you. The second icon is the Map view which overlays these POIs on a map (this is the view used in the screenshot above). The third icon is the Camera view, which is a great way to view POIs around you.
At this point, we’ve successfully set up Wikitude, set our BBM privacy permissions, and calibrated the Compass if required. We’ve also taken a peek at how to add and remove Worlds in addition to the various views that you can obtain using Wikitude. Keep an eye out for more posts about this great application, and if you have any specific questions, leave a comment and let us know!