Layar, an Android-based mobile phone browser that lets you explore your physical surroundings, call up geotagged information from the web and superimpose it on your viewfinder, is expanding worldwide and may soon come to the iPhone 3GS, according to its creator, Amsterdam-based SPRXMobile.
The browser is part of a young field called augmented reality that overlays information or 3-D graphics on a live camera feed. When it originally launched two months ago, it was limited to the Netherlands and included job and entertainment listings. But now SPRXMobile added Wikipedia and Twitter “layers” to the browser and is opening it up globally. You can also toggle between an augmented reality camera view and a map or list view or see the most popular layers in the browser.
The company launched an application programming interface last month, allowing developers from around the world to contribute different “layers” to the browser. U.S. companies like Trulia added data that lets you look for nearby real estate listings while OneBusAway.org added bus stop and arrival time information. (You can look at some of the projects here.)
SPRXMobile is angel-funded with three employees in Amsterdam. Its competitors include Austrian Mobilizy, the Germany company Metaio and the British company Acrossair, which launched its own browser last week.
Below is Layar’s original demo:
Checking real estate prices in France on Layar:
Tourism on Layar: