Recently a few startups have started to appear with mobile apps allowing you to point a smartphone at an object and view some kind of augmented reality object or information associated with it. Usually they’ve done this by being activated by some kind of QR code or similar. Others have started to appear with apps where no code is needed.
Blippar is one such startup that is poised to release an iPhone ap that does just this. But for the user behaviour to take off we need a platform with real existing traction.
Thus today Layar, the largest of the mobile augmented reality platforms, is launching Layar Vision. As implied, Layar will now be able to recognise real world objects and show digital content on top of them. It works particularly well with posters, magazines and newspapers.
The Layar platform is already used by over 10,000 developers worldwide on 10 million mobile devices. This extension of the platform wil be of particular interest to brands and publishers wanting new ways to engage with customers.
Right now it can instantaneously detect up to 50 objects and combine them with location-based layers.
As Layar co-founder and General Manager Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, puts it: “Mobile devices can finally ‘see’”.
Documentation regarding Layar Vision is readily available on the site. Developers can expect the beta version of Layar’s Publishing Platform together with a beta version of its browser, with Layar Vision features enabled, to be available within the coming weeks.
To kickstart the launch of Layar Vision, registration for the Layar Creation Challenge worth $55,000 in total cash prizes, has opened today. The 10 developers with the best concepts for useful and unique layers using Layar Vision will receive anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000. The winners will be picked by an expert panel.
The new features introduced with Layar Vision will also be added to an upcoming release of the Layar Player, which will be released in Q4 of this year for both iPhone and Android. The updated Layar Player will allow developers to incorporate Layar Vision features into their own individual mobile applications.