Augmented Reality

Thoughts By 8 years ago

Picture this… You are looking to rent a house in your favourite tree lined street. Simply pull out your mobile phone, open the new Layar browser, and select the ‘houses’ as your criteria. The mobile phone camera is then enabled, and you are in augmented reality.  The display shows real time digital information on top of the camera image, and uses GPS to provide location-based information over the image.Picture 6

As you direct you phone to different landmarks around you, dots point our houses for rent, photos inside the building, weekly payments and more.  If a landmark is distant or obscured by another building, the overlay will alert the user with a distance marker and a small dot indicative of distance.

An API has been made available allowing any type of layer to be displayed with current offerings including tourist hot spots, places to stay, transportation and local businesses, just to name a few. A user reviews layer is on its way; point your phone at a strip of restaurants, and the best ones rated by users will appear.

The software is currently available for most Android enabled devices. I am currently setting up Layers for clients and will report back on progress, feel free to contact me in the meantime for an update or more information! – josh(at)

This is very exciting technology that brings social searching, cataloguing and traditional search to the real world.

Augmented Reality demo using Google Android + Layar from on Vimeo.

  • OK, i just scraped the surface on using mobile devices to enhance the world around us, AKA augmented reality. I will re-post soon, here are some cool geo tagging technologies to keep an eye out for in the meantime.

  • John Chau

    I first tested out Augmented Reality on the Nokia N95 with the Fanta tennis software, not sure if you have seen this.

    You basically print out an A4 sized PDF file with some symbols on it
    which allow the game to calibrate to a virtual tennis court. It’s
    slow and not very responsive but will get better over time.

    One thing which I have always thought would be really cool would be
    (similar to the Wikitude) a location based Lonely Planet guide. You
    could scrape the content from Google Earth reviews, Expedia, various
    restaurant review sites etc. With GPS it shouldn’t be too difficult
    to make this location-based, and with a built-in compass it makes the
    augmented reality concept even easier to code since you probably can
    get away with not even doing physical recognition of buildings etc but
    infer based on location and direction that one is facing.

    Just my 2c!