How to create your own Layar. Augmented reality project offers open API.

Augmented Reality projects, one of which is Purdue University’s Ubitour (details coming up soon), are all the rage. Mobile devices, such as Iphone and Andorid, are capable with varying degree of success to overlay virtual reality over physical landscapes.

Layar has also made the smart decision of allowing developers to create content for its application by offering an open API. Otherwise put, you can feed your content to the Layar application, which will display it in a location aware manner on the Android phone. Layar keeps promising an Iphone application of the same kind, soon. Visible Past would be a first candidate for this application, wouldn’t it? (Other Visible Past resources).

BBC covers the latest developments in this arena.

Late August saw the global release of a significantly expanded version of an AR application called Layar – which has been dubbed the world’s first augmented reality browser.Sekai Camera applicationThe app Sekai Camera enables users to tag things they want others to seeThe Layar system combines a digital compass and GPS co-ordinates to establish its location and where it is pointing.Relevant information is then retrieved from a server and displayed in real time.By scanning the landscape, the software shows houses up for sale, restaurants, bars, or Wikipedia entries that could be useful for tourists.Also visible are Twitter “tweets” and photographs in various parts of the city that some people have geotagged. NEXT WEEKIn a follow-up report next week, Click will look at how AR tech might be applied to friends and creating new gaming worlds”Layar enables you to see things that you didn’t know about previously – data that was hidden in books or in the basement of a company,” he explained.Much of the content, he said, is created by users themselves.”Right now anybody can make a Layar, and all this information is provided to you as a service, and you can make it and access it for free.”Layar has only been in development since April, but it recently launched globally for phones that use the Google Android operating system.A version for the iPhone is slated for release soon after the upgrade of Apple’s operating system, which is expected to give developers greater control to manipulate and merge on-screen graphics and the camera feed.

via BBC NEWS | Programmes | Click | Handsets enhance the real world.

Video Clip illustrating Layar

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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