Layar Points the Way

Raimo van der Klein, who among other things is a founder of the excellent MoMoNe (Mobile Monday Nederlands) has just launched Layar, the world’s first mobile augmented reality browser.

If your response is WFT? – maybe you shouldn’t be here? As chance would have it, I was writing about the very same idea this morning in my vision for mobiles in 10 year’s time, when I wrote that the display for mobiles would be via:

a set of contact lenses or glasses, which will allow us to see three views, by simply changing our eyes’ focus; the web, the web overlayed onto the real world and the real world if anyone ever wants to go au naturel for some quirky reason.

Layar enables V1.0 of that idea for Android phones. You start the app, which automatically opens the camera. You point the camera at the scene around you and the phone works out where you are (via GPS) and the direction you’re pointing in (via the compass) and thus, what you’re looking at. Then the digital world is overlayed onto the real world with anonated information on topics like bars and restaurant info, jobs, houses for sale and ATMs.

You can even go totally digital, as I suggested, if you want to look at say, a map view or drill down for more information.

Watch the video and let your inner geek marvel.

It starts in Amsterdam this month and tomorrow, the world. I think this idea has the potential to go all the way and coming to an iPhone near you, will have the scale to drive adoption.

Well done Rymo and team.

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