Changes to Layar bring social features, gaming & Floaticons to Augmented Reality

Mobile-based augmented reality will get more social and gaming features and cute little bouncing Floaticons it was announced today.

At a conference a few hours ago marking its first birthday, Layar the augmented reality app platform announced some interesting changes that amount to a Layar 4. With fans billing the budding technology of Augmented Reality as just as exciting as the birth of the internet… these are definitely developments to keep an eye on. Check out the quick video from Layar below for a whip-round guide to the new features.

Key developments are:

1) Floaticons- building on the core Layar function of Points Of Interest – they’ve developed cute little Floaticons which replace the less distinctive pegs, showing people where places are. Ratings and friends pop up as 3d images as well, and you can comment and interact with them.

2) A past and future viewer – more emphasis on the amazing ability of Layar to show current scenes as they were and as they will be. In the video the example is architectural, letting you see a building that used to stand on a particular spot and flipping into future view – a future building development not yet built. The same could apply to say, meetings with friends – where you met your friends last week picked up from public photo galleries, where you’ve planned to meet them next week picked up from your calendar. This is a really interesting function.

3) Games! pick up virtual stuff in real places, score points and social game virtually by doing things in the real world. Can you imagine it? It’s like Foursquare gone 3D! We love it.

4) Get a feel for the vibe.. this sounds sort of fuzzy, but I guess in the way that Twitter manages to create and show hype around topics and keywords, this would show hype and activity around places and venues.

If Augmented Reality still gives you a brain ache, take a look back at one of our earlier articles on the the medium to get a quick explanation:

Interview with Britain’s top Augmented Reality Specialist: Howard Ogden talks the Beatles app and the future

My augmented reality wishlist… Or how Layar will become this year’s hottest mobile app

Anna Leach