There seems to be a lot happening in this space of late, one of the more impressive demos being MIT’s “Sixth Sense” concept, which was presented at TED earlier in the year. Enkin is another Android-based concept that I came across late last year.
In relation to Layar, Fast Company notes:
And that’s interesting because augmented reality devices on a smartphone are particularly well suited for businesses that need to attract customers to their locations. Imagine a future when instead of picking up a restaurant guide for a city you’re visiting you simply dial up your fave AR app, and filter through its results. Restaurants that don’t have a Web presence in one or many different formats, will simply not get a look-in.
I agree – it won’t be long before small businesses, used to more traditional methods of advertising (Yellow Pages, local papers etc.) will have to also start engaging with social media and networking tools to support such applications. (I would argue they can use these tools for other purposes too.)
But there are other things to consider with such “location aware” services and applications, as (somewhat humourously) highlighted by Mathew Honan in his article for Wired I Am Here: One Man’s Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle.
In recent workshops I’ve been highlighting the impact of the iPhone (~20% market share but 80% internet usage) and Android on the importance of mobile device support and considering how the rapidly evolving location-aware service space will impact not only traditional web applications, but also social media and networking services.
Given how fast this space seems to be moving, perhaps we’ll need to focus on them sooner than I thought…
(My colleague Jax Wechsler has been following the whole augmented reality meme on her blog – worth checking out if you’re interested in this space. Also worth mentioning for readers in Sydney is Mobile Monday, a monthly event focused on the mobile internet industry.)
P.S. sorry for the silence here of late – with the recent beta launch of the Australian ReachOut.com site and a workshop series for VicRoads I’ve been rather stretched…