Home WhereMark: More AR Discovery for the Outernet

WhereMark: More AR Discovery for the Outernet

Virginia-based company WhereMark has just released a preview of its upcoming app for the iPhone 3GS. By now we’re all familiar with augmented reality applications that place data above a real-time mobile camera view. Companies like Wikitude, RobotVision and Layar have wowed us with their ability to color what is sometimes described as an “outernet.” While it is not yet available to consumers, it will be interesting to see if WhereMark’s application weaves a similar web of intrigue.

In the past, ReadWriteWeb has looked at Bing Local application Robotvision and Wikipedia browser application Wikitude. Wheremark offers similar functionality, with data points from Google Local search overlaid on a real-time camera view. As an improvement to Layar and Wikitude’s treatment of distance, WhereMark mimics video game play by displaying nearby site data lower on the screen. Another feature of the service is that users can edit information directly on the mixed reality layer. Metaio’s advertising platform offers similar functionality with Junaio – a service with which advertisers can mark discounts and sales.

While WhereMark certainly has a good start with this application, I can’t help noticing how many similar products are coming to market. One group suggests that applications would be more diverse if Apple updated the iPhone’s software development kit. In an open letter to the company, a group of AR heavy hitters from companies like SPRX Mobile and Total Immersion discuss the fact that many app designers are locked out of the iPhone video camera. The current iPhone SDK offers no public APIs or support for video manipulation. Do you think iPhone-based AR development is stagnating because of Apple, or do you think developers are just slowly gaining momentum?

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