"Layar" for Android. No, not a horrible misspelling.

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If I wasn’t so attached to my iPhone, I would most certainly pick up an android just so I can enjoy this one particular application. It’s almost like science fiction meets reality; technology reading the environment. It’s almost as if your cell phone can read minds and give you exactly the information that you’re seeking.

Layar. It sounds like a horrible misspelling that will forever haunt me, but could quite possibly hold the key to our next generation in applications. I thought the application that could scan bar codes and send you a price comparison via iPhone was futuristic and awesome, but Layar truly is the “ness” in “awesomeness”.

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The capabilities of this application are pretty damn cool. First off, you point your android camera towards something, such as a building or a monument. If you’re pointing it at a restaurant, you can see the ratings that it has received, and possible open/close times. You can find out if anyone is hiring and where available jobs are. Hell, you can even find medical care that works with your particular network. All by holding up this handy dandy little device.  Alice in wonderland much? There is TONS of information available. There are currently 87 available “layars” and they are still going strong.

Some unique features to Layar are:

  • Switching easily between layers
  • Radar widget to give you an overview
  • Logobar to indicate which layer is active
  • Link through to mobile websites
  • Integrated map view
  • Custom filters for each layers (like distance, category, search box

This is only currently available [sigh] for the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and other Android phones. If you happen to be in the Netherlands, it comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you are highly interested in this ‘augmented reality’ that lets us see more than the world actually chooses to let us see, then pick up an android phone. I went into the store the other day and played with a few of the android phones. I must admit, they hold a close second to the iPhone, and it appears they are already making way crazier applications for it. For now though, I will stick to my little iPhone. If anyone happens to get “Layar” please leave some comments below or on my facebook fan page with some commentary on what its like!


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