Augmented or the virtual over reality is the new buzz word in mobile world nowadays and Android became the first Mobile OS to get an Augmented reality browser in the form of Layar. With the much anticipated public launch of ‘Layar 3.0’ which bring 3D support to Augmented reality, its now the time to compile various augmented browsers which are currently available in Android Market today.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with virtual computer-generated imagery – creating a mixed reality.
The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, like for example sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable.
Artificial information about the environment and the objects in it can be stored and retrieved as an information layer on top of the real world view. The term augmented reality is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, an employee of Boeing at the time.
Currently there are two Augmented reality browsers which are available for Android users.
1. Layar Reality Browser:
The Layar Reality Browser displays real time digital information on top of reality in the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, tourist information, play a live game, etcetera. Layar first launched on June 16th, 2009 and announced its global launch and version 2.0 on August 17th, 2009. The Layar platform serves as an enabler for mobile location services – any database with geo-location information can easily be turned in a content layer.
Together with selected partners Layar will update their API to support 3D objects for new and existing layers. Layar will launch 3D to the public in November together with the launch of version 3.0 of the Layar Reality Browser for Android.
2. Wikitude World Browser:
Wikitude World Browser presents the user with data about their surroundings, nearby landmarks, and other points of interest by overlaying information on the real-time camera view of a smart-phone. It makes Wikipedia a location based service. The actual camera view is mixed with information from Wikipedia. The application was developed by the Austrian-based company Mobilizy.