Augmented Reality (AR) is basically information display. Unlike everything most other info-tech things we do though,
this display takes place via a hand-held smart phone or tablet in real life wherever that may be occurring. AR does
not happen at a desk staring at a computer screen. It can happen there, but the best use of it, in my opinion, is out
in real life. The information that AR can display is based on one of two things:
- location. Typically this is latitude and longitude via phone GPS OR
- object recognition, which is done via the built-in camera on a phone or tablet.
Once the location or object is recognized, information about it is displayed on the phone or
tablet as a graphical/textual overlay. The first thing that makes this unique is that we have no demo
to show you on this website. To view a demo for augmented reality, you have to have a smart phone
or a tablet. On that device you need to have an AR browser. Usually these are free and can be
downloaded from either the Android or the iphone app stores. With the AR browser installed and
ready to go, a layer is then downloaded that plays nicely with the AR browser. When your device
comes within range of the object or location, the information pertaining to that location or object,
contained in that layer is displayed on your device.
We really like Layar
as a provider of AR browser and display layers. We are a Layar developer and
are closing in on having a Layar layer online and ready for consumption.
This is early days for AR. Early adopters, startups, and some uncertainty in finding the way. Sometimes
we think AR is a solution looking for a problem. Other days it is neater than sliced bread. Stay tuned
for further developments.
Here is a video from
that in 1:46 does a good job explaining what Layar's version of AR can do. We like it. But it is new to us too.