Layar, an “Augmented reality browser,” was presented this past weekend at the Mobile 2.0 Europe conference in Spain.
The application allows users to view an enhanced version of reality through the lens of their mobile phone’s camera. It is currently available in the Netherlands, on Android phones.
Layers, or “Layars” of information integrated with the application are displayed on top of whatever appears in the camera’s viewfinder. In real time. With full dimensionality provided by a built in magnetometer, GPS, and a display that even shows what’s behind you.
Right now, most data/map mashups rely on search parameters input by users and display places using year-old aerial or street-level photography.
Layar collapses those distances completely. No searching, only finding. No snapshots of the past, only now.
At the moment, real estate search is abstracted from reality – even in an advanced form like the Zillow iPhone app. With something like Layar in the palm of your hand, searching becomes more immediate. You or I could look at a neighborhood through the lens of our mobile phone and see data that tells the story of every home we point at.
This is the stuff of great stoner conversation. But it is also, mark my words, exactly where real estate search is headed.
The team behind Layar says they will be in the U.S. and on the iPhone by this fall.
If you think this is far-fetched, ask yourself if, 5 years ago:
- Your “cell phone” could nearly replace your personal computer
- You could “walk down the street” using something like Google Street View
- You’d run GPS-enhanced real estate searches from the palm of your hand
It is only a matter of time before the phenomenon many technologists call the “ambient web” becomes something we take for granted.
I wonder, will the MLSs in my market allow me to co-mingle listings in my mind? Will Google scrape my imagination?
Check out a Layar video demo below: