Why live in the boring normal world when life seen through your phone's camera is so much better? That's the approach taken by , the augmented-reality app.
Rather than augment the image on your phone's screen with a single layer of information, as is the case with the Kew Gardens to information on where the nearest pizza joints are can be found in the form of little icons floating on the screen.app, Layar lets you browse through numerous different layers created by various developers. That means everything from a guide to the trees at
The launch of Layar 3.0 brings a heap of new features that should keep developers awake, and add more fun stuff to our little screens. The latest version allows for 3D objects, unlimited points of interest, and user authentication, so layers can hook up with social networks and keep you logged in.
There's also the option to link POIs to create a virtual tour. The AR Beatles Tour layer shows the Fab Four walking over the zebra crossing on Abbey Road. Get your mate to stand on the crossing and you can snag a screenshot that shows your chum standing next to The Beatles in 3D. Then you can move on to the next mop-top tourist stop in a tour that covers 42 locations. The next destination only appears after the previous location has been visited.
An art layer shows sculptures hanging in the air around you, and an architecture layer shows iconic buildings that are in the works, so Prince Charles could have started complaining about the Pompidou Centre before it was even built.
Layar 3.0 is free from the Android Market for Android 1.5 and 1.6 devices. Layar tells us that a version for the iPhone 3GS is awaiting approval from Apple.