Mobilizy updated the Android version of its mobile augmented reality browser Wikitude to include a new feature they dubbed "Worlds," which are similar to the layers found in the alternatively popular Layar AR browser. On Thursday Wikitude 2.0 for the iPhone (version 4 on Android) was released on the iTunes App Store, brining these new Worlds to the iPhone.In January, the Austria-based company
Previously, Wikitude only served up geo-tagged Wikipedia articles, or content created on the Wikitude.me online service. With the addition of Worlds, users can now also browse locally for Twitter posts, Flickr photos and YouTube videos - the usual AR suspects. Also, local search points-of-interest (POI) are available through Google Local Search, CitySearch and Qype, but actual search functionality is not included.
This new verison of Wikitude also marks the browser's first commercial entries as users can find the nearest Startbucks, Walmart, Harley Davidson or BestBuy locations using the various World filters found on the applications new "Overview" home screen. Some of the Worlds, such as Last.fm events, Meetup Events and Outside.in content, are unique to Wikitude and are innovative inclusions for AR browsing.
Wikitude's updated features follow a continuing trend in mobile AR to consolidate a group of applications into a single AR browser-like experience. Mobilizy previously produced the AR application C2 YouTube for the iPhone, but has moved that functionality into Wikitude.
Additionally, acrossair's AR browser now includes features like Twitter and Wikipedia entries, which were previously features in their own independent applications. French iPhone app development house Presselite, which made waves with its Metro Paris Subway app, and other transit applications, has since rolled its applications together into the Bionic Eye application. It's only a matter of time before these companies begin rolling games and entertainment, a growing AR sector, into their browsers for one-stop augmented reality experiences.
Mobilizy, Layar, acrossair, and Presselite now have comparable AR browsing applications with Tonchidot not far behind with its more social app, Sekai Camera, the most popular AR app in Japan. Competition is certainly a good thing when it comes to mobile AR, and the deal-breaker in the coming months and years for most users will likely be the commercial content found on the applications.
Which mobile AR application do you like best? Let us know what you think in the comments.