Home Layar Could Be the Future of “Augmented Reality” (Video)

Layar Could Be the Future of “Augmented Reality” (Video)

I’ve long fantasized about being able to walk down city streets and get information on my phone about area demographics, histories of buildings I see and block-by-block news. A new Android app being talked about today makes that fantasy feel a little closer to reality.

Dutch software firm SPRXmobile will soon release an application for the Android phone that it calls “the world’s first Augmented Reality browser.” Called Layar, the app is a platform that makes sets of data viewable on top of the viewfinder of your mobile phone as you pan around a city and point at buildings. Real estate, banking and restaurant search companies have already created layers of information available on the platform, which is limited to use in the Netherlands for now. The demo video of the service is quite striking.

The blog NotJustReality quotes Raimo van der Klein, co-founder of SPRXmobil, in saying: “Eventually, the physical and the virtual worlds will become one.” That’s a nightmarish vision that warrants serious skepticism, but this app for phones sure is cool! The dystopian consequences of having a layer of commercial information placed literally between your eyes and the world around you are nothing to take lightly – but throw in Wikipedia and Outside.in-type layers and we’ll likely be happy. In our most recent coverage of the Augmented Reality market we highlighted Wikitude, a Wikipedia layer for Android phones. (How about some iPhone love, already, developers?)

Layar is reminiscent of data layers on Google Earth, Nokia’s Point and Find or the excellent Android Sky Map app, which lets users point their phones into the sky and identifies constellations.

Google’s Talk Android blog says that Layar will be available in the Android store shortly but there’s no word when it will be made available for other countries. Layar says its developers are working hard on building for other platforms, the iPhone in particular.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.