With Augmented Reality (AR) expected to grow from under 1 million in 2009 to more than 400 million by 2014, there’s clearly an indication that smartphones intend to make these figures even bigger. This is precisely the reason why Japan’s two largest cellphone operators are about to offer their millions of customers the next hot feature on Japanese smartphones — “augmented reality“. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo is set to launch “chokkan nabi”, or “intuitive navigation”, in September to move a step closer in digitizing our world view, literally. The technology, developed with map maker Zenrin, uses a global positioning system (GPS) and sophisticated software to help people find their way around megacities such as Tokyo and Osaka and other places in Japan. The application is an advanced version of an already popular Japanese application for Apple’s iPhone, called “Sekai Camera” or “World Camera”, place virtual tags on real-world objects and also provide directions to places outside the user’s direct view.