Blog U.: Augmented Reality and the Layar Reality Browser

Augmented Reality is different from virtual reality in the way that digital information is combined with the real world you see, feel and walk inside. It can be hand when you’re trying to find a location on foot, but it can also give you extra information when you are curious about a Point of Interest that pops up within the camera view of the street, building, or space in front of you. These data points have to be created though, and without the authors there’s very little Augmentation going on. I can imagine some black holes in some areas as most people depend on Google searches providing information about a Point of Interest. But it’s early days, and there’s a lot of stuff to discover on your own. Check out Layar for the iPhone or Droid.

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I remember when I first saw the Verizon Wireless commercial featuring the Layar Reality Browser. It looked like something out of a science fiction movie. When my student web coordinator came in to the office with her iPhone, I asked her if she had ever heard of “Layar.” She had not heard of it so we downloaded it from the App Store. I was amazed at how the app used the phone’s camera, GPS and Internet access to create a virtual layer of information over the image being displayed by the phone. It was my first experience with an augmented reality application.

via Blog U.: Augmented Reality and the Layar Reality Browser – Student Affairs and Technology – Inside Higher Ed.

It’s nice to know Layar is getting some wider exposure. When I first wrote about it last year, the smartphone market was still somewhat small. And Layar was targeting phones that already had GPS built-in which the Apple iPhone wasn’t quite ready to allow access to in its development tools. Now the iPhone and Droid are willing participants in this burgeoning era of Augmented Reality.

The video in the article is from Droid and does a WAY better job than any of the fanboy websites for the Layar application. Hopefully real world performance is as good as it appears in the video. And I’m pretty sure the software company that makes it has continuously been updating it since it was first on the iPhone a year ago. Given the recent release of the iPhone 4 and it’s performance enhancements, I have a feeling Layar would be a cool, cool app to try out and explore.

Author: carpetbomberz

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