Layar is Online

Layar is a new augmented reality Android framework that comes from SPRXMobile. SPRXMobile, which previously brought us the ATM finder and this excellent post about the AR hype cycle, have kicked it up a notch with a full blown AR platform.
SPRXMobile don’t provide many details quite yet (they save it to Mobile 2.0), but here’s what was made public on their site:

  • It will be available for download on the Android Market before the first of July. However, at launch, the service itself will only be available in the Netherlands (one more reason to visit!)
  • Points of interest are shown on top of the video input using graphical symbols, their interpretation (the text describing them) is shown out of band, on the bottom of the screen.
  • You will be able to choose between different content layers. Companies will be able to create their own layers (e.g. a layer whose points of interest are Starbucks).
  • “Currently several companies have already signed up for Layar and will publish their own content in their branded layer soon.”

My educated guess is that they are using the compass+gps combo to identify points of interest. First, it works only on Android devices since “they are the only devices with a compass”. Then, “We have a little indicator showing you the accuracy of the location positioning”, which could be avoided using computer vision. If that’s the case, the main difference between them and Wikitude is having many content layers (which also justify their “first mobile browser” slogan).

Whatever is the case, seeing SPRXMobile previous projects, I’m sure this one will be a tight application with a lot of promise. Good luck guys! (Raimo, Maarten, feel free to comment).

(link)

5 Responses

  1. Hi Roulli,

    Thanx fr the post. We sooooooooooo excited. And there is even more. We will be launching with at least one layar which is globally relevant, so you can visit Holland to use it but also do it at home in the US8-)

    If there are any major brands out there reading this and wishing to get their location information in a layer on this browser let me know: “maarten atsign sprxmobile.com”. Starbucks would be a great layar…

  2. Good, very *very* nice to see.
    The idea of layers of information is one that should take off very well.
    Also, this might well perswade me to get an android seeing as I live in Tilburg ;)

    Good luck with the app!

    Going forward though I would like to see user-submitable data though, and not just company submittable.
    Personaly I think the easiest way to do this is probably use Googlemaps, seeing as they already have the api and the tools to add landmarks, features and comments into their database ver myMaps (which could be viewed as a personal,but shareable, layer). So, effectively, this app would just have to be able to pick the data out of the database.

  3. @darkflame

    thanks!

    At a later stage we want to integrate http://www.zcapes.com into layar. With that you can make nodal info very easily. Per location, description, nearby tweets, flckr search, tags, youtbe etc etc. Including qr code and more. Yet first we need to get layar off the ground.

  4. Thats great news, glade your looking to that stuff for the future.

    zcapes does seem to have a bit of a spam problem though, judging from their front page.

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