Augmented Reality (AR) is a hot technology right now. Being able to use your mobile phone’s camera to see online data about the world around you is a fascinating prospect and we’re just at the beginning of what this technology can do.
Layar, one of the most interesting AR apps out there right now, launched in Holland to much excitement back in June. Back then the official plan was to roll the app out to a handful of countries this year but developer Sprxmobile has surprised us all by instead going for a global launch. Layar 2.0 is now available for Android phones the world over.
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With the launch comes a huge variety of new ‘layers’ for the service. Response from developers to the recently launched API has obviously been huge as Layar now gives you access to a wide range of third-party data including:
- Google Local Search worldwide.
- The ability to see Flickr photos that have been geotagged, local Twitter users, Brightkite data and relevant local Wikipedia entries.
- The ability to find restaurants, theatres, shops, and museums around Japan
- A guide to restaurants and bars around the USA
- A tool to find discounts around Paris.
- Qype (which, as we reported yesterday, has just launched in Italy) recommendations in a number of European countries.
There are tons more, 87 in total, which you can read about in a slide show on the Layar site. Many more layers are due to be launched soon. Layers in development include innovative ideas like a ‘Reality Quiz’ about the nearby locations, the ability to see which celebrities have been spotted where you are and the ability to see poems that have been written about where you are.
It’s fascinating stuff and the only kicker is that it’s currently an Android-only service. An iPhone version is in the works though, and versions for other mobile platforms are being considered. In the meantime there are plenty of other AR apps starting to appear for those of you without an Android phone, including this iPhone Twitter app.