Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Augmented Reality through the Mobile Application Layar

Photo from AdAge.com
The concept of augmented reality has traditionally been reserved for science fiction novels and blockbuster franchises such as the Matrix Trilogy. However, the advent of mobile apps like Layar (and its subsequent competitor, Google Goggles) has made this fantasy a reality by utilizing smart phones' photo capture and GPS capabilities to display images, links, listings, comments, etc. through the mobile lens. The app functions by recognizing a given location or object and inserts different facets of an augmented reality depending on the Layar's purpose. For example, Yelp, a restaurant review website, has created a Layar where restaurant information can be acquired instantaneously and in relation to your given location. What is most significant is that these types of apps are not limited by the constraints of close proximity. They are capable of directing the Layar user to a given location and/or desired object. With nearly 10 million apps installed on mobile devices, the reach for companies who use Layar's services is considerable. However, the creative and fiscal potential of this technology has yet to be fully realized, and as its use expands across brands and consumers, the likelihood of augmented realities  becoming common place in daily life may no longer be confined to the pages of a book or frame of a TV screen. ("Layar Augmented Reality 2010")

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