Augmented reality browser - the shape of things to come
An innovative new browser for Android handsets gives us a sneak peak at what we may come to expect in future phones.
Layar uses the GPS, Compass and camera to overlay 'layers' of data on the real-time real-world view as seen by your camera.
Hold the phone up and data overlays appear on screen superimposed on the real-world objects. Pan around and the data changes as the view changes.
There is a demo video available at the Layar web-site which shows this in practice far better than I can explain it. But imagine arriving in a new city and being able to identify the sights and buildings just by holding up your phone and pointing the camera at them?
Blaupunkt has a PND SatNav that uses a rear mounted camera and overlays arrows and other data on the camera image in real-time giving more possibilities.
But it is the arrival of accurate compasses that makes the augmented reality browser workable.
Layer have designed the software as an 'engine' onto which other providers can add their content or 'layers'. Although they have launched on Android they are working on an iPhone version.