Mobile - the Future?
As I read an article today - argh I can’t find it now - will post a link when I find it again … It was a relatively recent article in the New Zealand Herald commenting on the fact that as consumers we all want the latest mobile phones with all of the associated features, but that the vast majority of us never use our phones to access the internet. It gave the figures for how much both Vodafone and Telecom have spent of late on marketing their 3G networks and questioned whether this was a technology that had potential in New Zealand. I believe there is a strong future ahead for the mobile web. However, I know for a fact that the majority of people I speak with are scared of the data charges associated with accessing the web via mobile. Many people are also completely unaware of the quality of the browsing experience on a mobile - fearing that it will be clunky and difficult to navigate (which to be fair it is if you simply use the phone’s standard browser I use Opera Mini). Anyway, I am off on a tangent. The point I was kind of getting around to making is that while the majority of consumers are still trying to get their head around using Google on the little screen, there are plenty of people running around developing some seriously cool applications for mobile phones… and it all seems a little way-out futuristic to me!!!
I have posted before about Augmented Reality… but this is some seriously cool technology, and I have recently become more and more interested in the potential for this, and realising that it is closer to becoming mainstream than what I was aware. Please note that the picture below is just a picture that I grabbed from Flickr by HenriBlock, and is not directly related to either HitLab or Layar.
In New Zealand, Canterbury based HitLab are doing some pretty cool stuff developing applications for augmented reality, creating learning objects where students will one day be able to use the cameras on their mobile phones merge the real and digital and virtually interact with printed or real material. See my earlier post explaining this here.
So it is with great interest I see that layar - ‘the world’s first augmented reality browser for phones’ has been launched in the Netherlands. Really I can’t explain it as well as this clip from YouTube does, I really urge you to have a look as it really does prove that the future is here - and has been famously said before - it’s just not evenly distributed yet!