Maybe. Many people in the Augmented Reality world are rolling their eyes at Layar's incredible media exposure. They worry that relatively simple implementations of this technology paradigm will create such a bubble of hype that software developed over decades will suffer as well, if public opinion crashes in a let-down from high expectations.
Fact of the matter is, sometimes Layar and other AR services work well and sometimes they don't. None of the mobile applications currently available actually process the live video they are looking at and respond, some just postulate at what should be where you're looking and others look for a very specific marker.
In other words, it's not at all like the Terminator view shown by CNN to illustrate the concept. Live video AR (called "true AR" by some in the industry) is just beginning to make an appearance on mobile devices. Layar could not identify pant sizes walking down the street if it wanted to.
Either way, here we are: AR is becoming the hot new thing and not just among geeks. It's hitting the mainstream. From CNN profiles like this to the next issue of Esquire Magazine. Even the New York Times is beginning to explore the possibilities - though the Times is both mainstream and full of super-geeks.
What do you think? Is Augmented Reality the next step for the internet? Displaying data about the world, on top of our view of the world, certainly seems compelling. Could mobile AR overtake traditional mobile browsing, photography, etc. and be second only to voice as the way people use their phones?
It seems possible. Here comes the future, when we get to find out.