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Augmented Reality Start-Up Ready to Disrupt Business – Tech Europe – WSJ

Image representing Layar as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

“We have added to the platform computer vision, so we can recognize what you are looking at, and then add things on top of them.”

via Augmented Reality Start-Up Ready to Disrupt Business – Tech Europe – WSJ.

I’ve been a fan of Augmented Reality for a while, following the announcements from Layar over the past two years. I’m hoping out of this work comes something more than another channel for selling, advertising and marketing. But innovation always follows where the money is and artistic creative pursuits are NOT it. Witness the evolution of Layar from a toolkit to a whole package of brand loyalty add-ons ready to be sent out whole to any smartphone owner, unwitting enough to download the Layar created App.

The emphasis in this WSJ article however is not how Layar is trying to market itself. Instead they are more worried about how Layar is creating a ‘virtual’ space where meta-data is tagged onto a physical location. So a Layar Augmented Reality squatter can setup a very mundane virtual T-shirt shop (say like Second Life) in the same physical location as a high class couturier on a high street in London or Paris. What right does anyone have to squat in the Layar domain? Just like Domain Name System squatters of today, they have every right by being there first. Which brings to mind how this will evolve into a game of technical one-upsmanship whereby each Augmented Reality Domain will be subject to the market forces of popularity. Witness the chaotic evolution of social networking where AOL, Friendster, MySpace, Facebook and now Google+ all usurp market mindshare from one another.

While the Layar squatter has his T-shirt shop today, the question is who knows this other than other Layar users? Who will yet know whether anyone else will ever know? This leads me to conclude this is a much bigger deal to the WSJ than it is to anyone who might be sniped at by or squatted upon within an Augmented Reality cul-de-sac. Though those stores and corporations may not be able to budge the Layar squatters, they can at least lay claim to the rest of their empire and prevent any future miscreants from owning their virtual space. But as I say, in one-upsmanship there is no real end game, only just the NEXT game.

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Showcase Your Skills & Analyze Which Skills Are Trending With LinkedIn’s New Tool

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Professional network LinkedIn has just introduced the beta launch of a new feature LinkedIn Skills, a way for you to search for particular skills and expertise, and of course, showcase your own and in LinkedIn’s words, “a whole new way to understand the landscape of skills & expertise, who has them, and how it’s changing over time.”

via Showcase Your Skills & Analyze Which Skills Are Trending With LinkedIn’s New Tool.

It may not seem that important at first, especially if people don’t keep their profiles up to date in LinkedIn. However, for the largest number of ‘new’ users that are in the job market actively seeking positions, I’m hoping those data are going to be more useful. Those might be worth following over time to see what demand there is for those skills in the market place. That is the promise at least. My concern though is just as grades have inflated over time at most U.S. Universities, skills too will be overstated, lied about and be very untrustworthy as people try to compete with one another on LinkedIn.