“The real world is way too boring for many people,” says Mr. Sánchez-Crespoa, project leader at Novarama, a game developer based in Barcelona. “By making the real world a playground for the virtual world, we can make the real world much more interesting.”
Welcome to the world of Augmented reality: a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data, where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.
Though the concept of Augmented reality (AR) has been around since early 90's (term first introduced by Boeing Corp), it's only in recent past we are seeing a surge in interest for AR. In mobile computing and gaming software, AR is finally realizing a viable business model.
Austrian Company Mobilizy launched Wikitude.me in late 2008. Wikitude.me running on Andriod platform, provides information on 800,000 points of interest around the world on real time.
Earlier this month SPRXmobile, a dutch telecom company launched an Android application named 'Layer', which is being termed as the first AR browser. People in Amsterdam who download 'Layar' on their cellphones can look through the camera and see information about nearby restaurants, A.T.M.’s, and available jobs displayed in front of buildings that house them. This information is provided by companies like Hyves, the Dutch social networking site, and ING, the financial services company. The businesses pay a fee to SPRXmobile for publishing their data.
See the video below on Layers.
AR adoption is likely to increase in near future. I think what is key to success of AR adoption is the data quality and completeness. Big players like Nokia (owns Navteq - provider of map data and content)or Google can leverage this technology to bring in more and more value added services.