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).