Layar Augmented Reality Browser app for iPhone 3GS now available; poised to become a killer app?

“Layar’s free AR [augmented reality] browser has arrived in [Apple’s iTunes] App Store [Layar Reality Browser]. And with a bit of luck, it could become one of the device’s killer apps,” Kit Eaton reports for Fast Company. “If you’re still at a loss as to the significance of augmented reality, Layar’s own explanation from inside the app explains it well: ‘Layar is a tool to browse the world. It enables exploration, more informed decisions, serendipity and fun. […] While looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale popular bars and shops, touristic information of the area, play a live game, etcetera.'”

“Layar aggregates all those little niggly bits of extra information you often wish you knew when visiting a certain new place–the best way to the train station from the point you’re standing on, where the best cafe is, and so on–and overlays it on the real world as viewed through your phone’s camera,” Eaton reports.

“The marriage between useful/fun/vital/helpful location-based data offered by Layar, the GPS and digital compass built into the iPhone 3GS (a 3G version is coming, Layar promises), and the legion of developers building new code for the platform give it a good shot at becoming the most popular AR browser on the market, if not a genuine killer app,” Eaton reports. “Especially since it’s free.”

Full article here.

More info about and download link for the free Layar Reality Browser via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. I just downloaded Layar but haven’t tested it.

    But there might be a problem. “Urbanspoon” added a new AR restaurant locator, but when I tested it walking around Harvard Square I found that it didn’t automatically update itself using my GPS position, so that the “location” of restaurants I knew about didn’t “move” even when I’d walked past them.

    I think any such app should do this. Even a 3G version should be able to do it in a town with a lot of wifi hotspots.

    i’ll report later if it does update at a reasonable time interval.

  2. Lurker_PC,

    Yes. It can kill off the App’s competitors, and if most Google Phones are not smart phones, it can kill off those as well, not to mention Palm’s phones and Win 7 phones.

  3. Thanks Big Al.

    Yes I agree that a killer app can help eliminate the smaller competition – aka Win Mobile, Palm, Dell (stillborn?), etc.

    I suppose a killer app becomes just an app if it exists on the platform of the bigger competitors.


  4. Killer App?

    They had me at hello… The whole thing is a killer app.

    Has ever there been a device with more killer apps? Phone, Calendar, Maps, Games, Voice Search, Camera, Email, Video, SMS, MMS, Newspapers, Web, Banking, Directions, Movie Times, Alarm, Music, Video Rental, Shazam, Contacts, Voice Memos, Weather, YouTube…

    Like I said. They had me at hello.

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