If your iPhone is broken then the prospect of getting augmented reality may well be enough of a motive to get your phone fixed quickly rather than making do until the end of the contract. Meanwhile it can be something exciting to think about while your iPhone is broken and to try out when it comes back.

For those who don’t know what augmented reality means, essentially it is anything that involves having digital information overlaid onto real-time, real-world input. So for example you might have a camera that you can point at any element in the real world and this would show on your iPhone screen. With an augmented reality app then you might see this with added details written on the screen to describe what you’re seeing.

This might seem like something of a gimmick, but when you think about all the possible applications of this then it becomes apparent why it’s creating such excitement. For instance using augmented reality, you would be able to take your phone out when looking at something you don t understand and get instant information regarding what it is.

Seen a car you like? Well then take out your phone, point it at the vehicle, and it will tell you the make, model, price and more – maybe with a follow up link so you can buy your own. Already there are iPhone apps that let you hold your iPhone up in a high street and then tell you precisely which shops and restaurants are there. These include apps like Layar and Wikitude. They might well catch on and become as crucial for our navigation of the real world as Google is for our navigation of the internet, and if you have a broken iPhone and don’t get your iPhone repairs then you won’t be able to join in in this paradigm shift.

There are other exciting uses for augmented reality meanwhile, such as games that have you hunting for objects that appear to be in the real world – digital points on real world maps that when you point your phone at them look like monster that you can then shoot. The multiplayer possibilities here are amazing. There’s even already a sound-based augmented reality app, which allows you to listen to real world sounds and then filters and changes them to create music.

You walk down the street then and the taps of your feet become a base rhythm, as you step through a puddle the splash is enhanced and seems to take up the entire soundscape in tingles and dripping sounds. This is called RjDj and is something you should definitely download when you get your iPhone repairs.

This is all only possible on multifunctional and powerful iPhones, the reason being that it needs to be able to analyse the items on the screen in real time which takes up a lot of processing power and a lot of RAM and a good quality camera. Likewise to know where you are in the world it needs GPS and to know where you’re pointing it you need the camera.