4 Comments

Layar Augmented Reality, bringing software to life

Layar‘ first came up with the idea of an augmented reality web browser back in 2009 which turns the camera’s in mobile phones into a conceptualised information portal and local business search.  This concept of utilizing mobile devices beyond it’s standard capabilities have been derived with the innovative development of web technologies. Software on mobile devices have extended the power of mobile devices and allowed them to create/share data across devices, servers and networks. Similarly, Layar recognized the demand for innovative uses of augmented reality based applications by enhancing location awareness services.  The Layar application and the technology aims to integrate digital data with live visual data feed, for the convenience of daily activities. Such as:

  • Finding information on ATM’s, public transport while navigating through the streets
  • Search for contact details or reviews of businesses with google local search
  • See Location based status updates made through a variety of social networks
  • Information about building architecture
  • Integration with real estate searches

The Layar technology utilizes a variety of mobile technologies including the camera, GPS, accelerometers, and a mobile internet connection. Layar has leveraged the practicability of smart phone peripherals and devices to harness collective intelligence.  The camera captures the surrounding environment and display it on the screen with digital information retrieved over the internet. This information is based on the location awareness capabilities and other shared data across devices.  While the GPS determines the location, the accelerometer and the compass would determine the view of the field or the reality. A combination of all these technologies would provide the user with an augmented view of the reality with rich information and data.

Currently layar uses the power of networks and the web to:

  • Support for 3D models
  • Support for animated POI’s
  • Interactive sharing to facebook and twitter
  • Layer actions: call, email, share, web access
  • Support of Audio/video
  • Payment platform (PayPal)

Layar incorporates sophisticated level of interactivity with audio, visuals, animation and 3D models to create “layers” in a users field of vision through their mobile device. Currently Layar is compatible with iPhone, Android, Bada and Symbian. Layar is just not an app, but an open source platform aims to provide variety of possibilities and opportunities in the future.

References:

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4 comments on “Layar Augmented Reality, bringing software to life

  1. Personally I think we’re still far from having access to mainstream AR programs. I’m sure you’re aware of Google’s take on AR (http://www.pcworld.com/article/253404/google_glasses_all_hype_or_reality.html). That said, is AR truly designed to integrate on devices currently available? Layer does a great job of trying to do just that. However, I believe AR will first start with a specific device designed to integrate with everyday life and become ubiquitous. I honestly don’t think smartphones will be that device.

    • Yeah it’s true. AR will definitely take a while to get on to the mainstream audience. However I think the device that will take AR to the next level would be smart phones. Although devices such as Google Glasses. gaming devices and PDA’s are currently under production for better AR experience, Smart phones have the competitive advantage of distributing AR to the main stream more effectively.

      Mainly because –
      1. They are available right now
      2. Comparatively cheaper
      3. Convenience of carrying and using
      4. Ability of carrying out various other applications

  2. Excellent article Hasitha.

    I really enjoy the concept of leveraging AR on mobile devices such as phones and tablets – we’re at a point where we have sophisticated enough devices on us at all times that this kind of technology could really take off if people really got on it.

    However, I feel as though it will be a long time until we move past things like QR codes. I agree with colhili’s comment that this type of real-world interaction and ‘digital layering’ will only be adopted when a truly ubiquitous, personal area networked technology is delivered to us. Much like Google’s ‘Project Glass’.

    Until then, there is something of a fine line between ‘Augmented Reality Tool’ and ‘Augmented Reality Marketing Gimmick’, though with that being said, Layar appears to be on the right track.

    What do you think would be necessary for technology like ‘Augmented Reality’ to really hit the mainstream? The technology is there, but businesses just haven’t jumped on it yet. Maybe it just doesn’t stack up in priorities?

    Cheers,

    Anthony Smith
    http://www.anthonysmith4it.wordpress.com

    • It’s quite hard to say on what device would take AR to the next level. As mentioned previously I personally thought smartphones would do it considering the convenience and the availability. But I guess it all to do with users/people as well. If they are not ready I don’t think AR will gain any demand at all.

      For e.g. Tablets were available since the 80’s but there werent a demand for it mostly because people weren’t used to the technology and new devices. But with the apple revolution people saw the usage of such devices. Similarly, people will take some time to see the uses of AR and will create a demand accordingly.

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