Augmenting your reality at Voodoo Fest

Tech-savvy concertgoers will have an opportunity to connect even closer to the artists at Voodoo Fest this year. Zehnder Communications, an advertising and marketing firm based in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is helping in the development of an “augmented reality” application using the Layar Reality Browser 2.0. Using a cell phone’s camera, the program provides up-to-date schedules, artist profiles, food vendors and even crucial information about facilities like ATMs and bathrooms, all based on which way the phone is pointing.

For example, aim the phone at a stage and Layar tells you who is playing. Ask where the restrooms are and it will send you in the right direction.

The data for the app is kept in real time by Voodoo Experience organizers and streamed live to phones.

Zehnder is working with festival organizers to provide mobile signal boosters to help avoid the kind of dodgy data connections often experienced at festivals and major sporting events.

For now the technology is available only for Android-enabled phones.

To load the free app, go to the Android Market via android.com and search for Layar. Once the browser is running, search for “2009 Voodoo Experience Layar.” It’ll be like having your own hip concert concierge at your fingertips.

The developers also hope to convince Apple to approve the technology for iTunes and the iPhone 3Gs. Learn more at layar.com.

Check out our Voodoo Experience preview here.