Layar – Augmented Reality App

Android users can try an augmented reality app – Layar. It uses your smartphone camera and GPS sensor together with magnetic field detector.

The result is real world through camera with some places of interest on it. Now, what places? Here is the trick – layers (“layArs”) with different set of objects. For example, restaurants, monuments, galleries.

Some of “layars” are quite original, yet useless, in my opinion. Instagram photos, Tweets and graphical 3D animations, like flying sausages above the trees 🙂 Fun for children to trick the grandma.

Also, most of the “useful” ones are tied to the specific location, say, sights in London or street art in New York. Therefore, you may end up seeing nothing really helpful, except Instagram pics of your neighbour’s lunch 🙂

For some reason, folks behind Layar decided to shift idea of the app from the urban augmented reality to the, so called, “Interactive Print” – a “scanner”, which provides a hidden content (or even a “Buy it now” option), when pointed on some featured poster or magazine. Of course, these posters should have a special Layar barcode on them to show hidden data.

Layar Augmented Reality Interactive Print

In conclusion, app is worth trying, especially if you live or travel in a big city and have a good mobile plan. Then you probably find new and interesting places around. Or some cool place to eat/drink.

By the way, I noticed one “layar”, which encourages you to create a party spot for others to join – “Hey, step in, drinks are on the house!”. Then those news about 10,000 guests came to a party and ruined the house. Be aware of augmented parties 🙂

P.S. There are many furious comments on Google Play market regarding the fact that Layar was preinstalled as a system app on some devices, though not really needed by the owners. Not a clever move, I think. People should have a choice (to uninstall) or it will look like a coercion.