One of the biggest complaints about Google Glass is its lack of augmented reality functionality. Fortunately, that's about to change as Layar, a popular augmented reality app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, is now available for Google's heads-up display. If you want to look at objects and get more information about them projected into your retina, you can download the app from Layar's website today.
Drawing upon Layar's database of "interactive print content," the app lets you scan items or your surroundings with your Glass for additional information. A feature called Geo Layers lets you learn more about your surroundings. In a video demonstrating the product, a Glass wearer looking at a row of buildings is shown several pins indicating houses for sale in the area. As he moves his head, different pins are highlighted and the individual address of each listing is shown below the pin.
Real estate shopping is just one use of Layar for Glass. The video also demonstrated how the app can be used to pull up trailers or advertising campaigns just by looking at movie posters or magazine covers. These videos will display right on top of the poster or cover. You can also search for content related to items or QR codes you're looking at by saying, "Ok Glass, scan this."
You can already do this with Layar's app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, but augmented reality is a much more natural fit with a heads up display such as Glass. Of course, the amount and variety of information you can access with Layar will depend on the company's database of information, and the company says it already sees more than 80,000 publishers using its Layar Creator platform. The Creator service lets content providers design interactive content that is pushed through the app to Layar users.
Although still in Beta, Layar looks like a promising augmented reality app for Glass. We expect plenty of competition to arise, though, once Glass is publicly released.