Android App Review – Layar

App Name Layar Layar
Price Free
Website http://www.layar.com
App Availability Android Market or the Developer version at http://tr.im/wxe0
   

This is one of the apps with really cool possibilities.  You can overlay any geographic information on the augmented reality display.  There are layers for Wikipedia, Qype, Google’s “Local Search”, Flickr, Hotels, Mazda dealerships, Brightkite, Twitter, and even International Architecture.

As an application, it’s really easy to use and well designed.  My only problem was not knowing how to find new Layers.  Which was eventually resolved when I realised that from the “Layers” view, you can search for them in the Search tab.

As a concept, I think we’re only starting to scratch the surface.  Imagine a bus service, where you can search see what busses are arriving from where, and at at what time.  Or a movie service where you can search and see where around you a certain movie is showing.  Then click on the location and book your ticket.

Festivals, sporting, music, and cultural events could be greatly augmented by technologies like this.  You have a load of people who aren’t usually in an area, and applications that help you find a place to eat, or see where spontaneous events are happening “real time” will be great tools to organise people and, for businesses, being visible on those applications would stand a chance to get a load of customers.

I’m quite excited to see where “Augmented Reality” applications are going to end up and if they’re as open (developers can use the Layar API to provide their own layers for the application) and well built as Layar, I think there’s going to be some awesome innovation.

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