Mobilizy is trying to one-up its competitors in the nascent field of augmented reality by letting anyone add location-based tags to its browser, Wikitude. Augmented reality browsers can overlay information in a live camera feed, so people walking around holding up their phones can see Wikipedia entries or real estate listings tagged to buildings, as we’ve recently reported. The company also released an application programming interface (API), fresh on the heels of its Dutch archrival SPRXMobile, which created the Layar browser and released an API yesterday.
With the API, a news service like CNN or The San Francisco Chronicle can geotag its historical archive so that a person strolling around downtown San Francisco while holding up their smartphone’s camera can see clips from news stories that happened there 50 years ago, according to Mobilizy’s founder, Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis. Regular users can also add in their own tags, marking up their favorite places to grab coffee or embed videos and photos relevant to specific place. (I added VentureBeat’s office location — see above.)
“This is where the community comes in. Geotagging all of these places and historical events is a lot of work and no individual would do it alone,” Breuss-Schneeweis said. “But a community together could build this like with Wikipedia. Nobody expected that it would work so well.”
Both Mobilizy and SPRXMobile are trying to become the go-to augmented reality browser by letting other content providers add data from restaurant listings to news stories. Before this week, Layar had five data sets and Mobilizy pulled geotagged information from Wikipedia and recommendation site Qype.
Mobilizy is based in Salzburg and is self-funded with six employees.