A new iPhone app called Parking Aid from UK startup Cyan Five aims to reduce the number of headaches drivers experience when parking their cars, whether its a case of finding it when they return to their car after a long days shopping or alerting the driver to the expiration of a paid parking ticket.
There are a number of similar applications on the App Store that provide a platform to locate your car, some just provide a reminder to return to your car when the parking permit has expired. Parking Aid fuses the two inside a very simple interface that also utilizes Augmented Reality to guide you back to your car if it becomes too difficult to spot.
Using the app is easy. Upon launch, you are asked whether you wish to set the location of your car or return to it. Selecting the “Set Parking” option launches a map interface, using the iPhone’s GPS chip to locate where you have parked your car at that time. If the GPS is a little off, you have the option to move the pin and set the location manually.
When the location is locked, you can then specify a return time, perfect if you have to pay for an allotted amount of time to park in the specified place.
If the location isn’t enough, hitting the “Set Additional Info” button gives users the option to add extra data like the parking level of the car park a driver parks in, the space number, even allowing the user to take a photo of the car parking space to visually prompt the user when they return to their car.
So, a parking location has been set and reminder activated. What happens when you return to the car park but you still can’t it?
This is where the Augmented Reality feature comes into its own. Providing more than just directions, this option will open the camera app and provide a small arrow that can direct the user back to his/her car, showing the distance and accuracy.
A very simple interface combined with some powerful features makes Parking Aid an app worth downloading, even if you use it once. At just 59 pence on the App Store, the app will come into its own when you are in a different region or country, guiding you back to the destination you noted earlier.