Layar: World’s First Mobile Augmented Reality Browser?
SPRXmobile has created what they claim is the world’s first augmented reality browser for mobile phones, named Layar. The program, which will only be available for Android phones at the moment, displays real-time digital information on top of the real-world locations it sees through a mobile device’s camera. Layar does not work by using any kind of image or object recognition, but rather through a combination of camera, compass and GPS.
Layar is derived from location based services and works on mobile phones that include a camera, GPS and a compass. Layar is first avaliable for handsets with the Android operating system (the G1 and HTC Magic). It works as follows: Starting up the Layar application automatically activates the camera. The embedded GPS automatically knows the location of the phone and the compass determines in which direction the phone is facing. Each partner provides a set of location coordinates with relevant information which forms a digital layer. By tapping the side of the screen the user easily switches between layers. This makes Layar a new type of browser which combines digital and reality, which offers an augmented view of the world.