Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Augmented Reality

The front page of the Windsor Star yesterday was an ad. That wasn't the surprising part. What was interesting is the Layar logo. When you see this logo that means there is extra content that you can see if looking with the right tool. That tool is a smartphone with the Layar App. Here are two views of the ad. The one on the right is the print ad, the one on the left is the print ad as viewed through the Layar App (view the print ad via the camera on your phone and extra, clickable, content appears).

Tapping on any of the icons that appear on your screen then takes you to a YouTube video about that particular item.
This seems to one of the latest trends in the web based world. It's called augmented reality. This is the ability to look at your surroundings and have technology enhance what is already there with new information. To get a sense of what this could be, take a look at this video from the labs at Google Maps.
More recently Google has started to introduce Google Goggles. Originally only available for Android phones, the app is now also available for the iPhone. With Google Goggles, you can now use your phone to do visual searches. Maybe you are at a book store and want to do search about a book you have seen. Just take a picture using your Google Goggle app and your phone does the search based on the picture. Or maybe you see a sign written in a foreign language. Just use your Google search to take a picture of it and do the translation for you.
Of course Google has taken that a step further with Project Glass:

Google founder Sergey Brin has been out an about showing off the prototype which may be available next year:
So I guess we are not that far away from Minority Report but in the mean time have a good time augmenting your reality.

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