Looks like there may be some consolidation in the augmented reality scene: TechCrunch reports that the U.K.’s Blippar has bought Dutch rival Layar. Both companies focus heavily on bringing print ads to virtual life. Layar is a real AR veteran; 5 years ago its original, non-marketing-centric app did a lot to popularize the concept (at least, among geeks.) Now both Blippar and Layar are trying to make AR finally take off through the use of Google(s goog) Glass. If the deal’s real — I’ve been unable to get confirmation — I wonder what will happen to Layar’s interoperability pact with Metaio and Wikitude.
Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has invested in a company called Neurence through his Invoke Capital fund. Based in Cambridge, the firm was itself formed by former employees of Autonomy’s Aurasma augmented-reality (AR) division after HP(s hpq) bought Autonomy. Neurence has a new iPhone AR app called Taggar, which lets users overlay their own photos, videos and stickers on top of real-world objects, for viewing by other users when they hold their phone up in front of the object. Invoke’s previous investment, in September, was a Cambridge security firm called Darktrace.
Researchers in Madrid develop a system that helps professors and students exchange feedback on class lectures in real time– and this could point the way toward an interesting use case Google Glass.
Metaio’s chip, which will be built into ST-Ericsson’s upcoming smartphone chipsets, offers a lot of help in making AR more battery-friendly. But its ideal application is in smart glasses, not smartphones.
Minecraft Reality, co-developed by ‘computer vision’ firm 13th Lab and Mojang, lets fans of the hugely successful game upload their creations into the real world for others to see. And this isn’t some floaty gimmick – we’re talking positioning with sub-centimeter accuracy.
Augmented reality still seems more of a solution in search of a problem to some, but two promising applications show how virtual reality can bring real-world value. Trying on virtual clothes and shoes could be the killer application for augmented reality to hit its stride.
Augmented reality apps (like WorkSnug, a neat app that helps you to find good places to work nearby that I wrote about last year) are becoming more commonplace. GigaOM has published a great set of infographics summarizing the main AR apps and how they work.
Augmented Reality (AR) is one of those cool technologies (subscription required) that fascinates me. The ability to merge what is seen through a phone camera into the real world and leverage it in useful ways is awesome. When the cool factor settles down, I’m left with the reality of AR, and that is trying to find real-world uses for it that add benefit. Car Finder by Intridea is a good example of a real benefit that AR can bring the user in everyday life.
How many of us have parked our car in a huge parking lot, and then searched for it when we return? It can be especially challenging at sporting events, when all you can see is what seems like miles of cars between you and your car. Car Finder eliminates that frustration by using the iPhone 3GS camera to show you where you left your car. You tell the program where you are when you park the car, and when you return it shows you where the car is, superimposed over those miles of other cars. It’s a useful app with a real-world benefit, and it only costs you 99 cents.
Late Wednesday, augmented reality (subscription required) app Layar finally hit the App Store. It received a lot of buzz early on in the days of AR on mobile devices, and was released long ago for devices running Google’s (s goog) Android OS.
The idea behind the browser is that multiple points of interest (POI) are displayed on top of a live feed from your camera. The POI information is drawn from multiple sources, which you can select from using the the menu at the bottom of the app. Each source provides different kinds of information, about transit, for instance, or about general tourist destinations, etc. Read More about Layar Augmented Reality Browser Finally Available for iPhone
Several sources reported yesterday that the latest updates to the app Metro Paris Subway had (99 cents, iTunes link) appeared on the iTunes App Store, bringing it up to version 3.0. Amongst many nice new and updated features, this version also brings augmented reality to the iPhone, officially, for the first time.
So, it’s finally here. Augmented Reality (AR) has hit the iPhone, and nothing will ever be the same again. Prepare for the Future.
Except…don’t bother. Why, you ask? Read More about First Augmented Reality App for the iPhone Is Live