Layar Reality Browser: Now Available On Android Market!


Another application destined to become a worldwide favorite, Layar Reality Browser has finally launched and is now available on the Android Market! The video below will illustrate what exactly Layar is all about:

Essentially you’re using your phone like a camera so you can see the real world as you pan around, but the application utilizes your GPS location and G-Sensor to determine exactly what your phone/camera is pointing towards and provides you more information about it directly on your phone! But Layar introduces new layers of awesome because its technology isn’t just an application… its a platform.

Developers can utilize the Layar API to create their own augmented reality layers for use within the app! According to the company’s Press Release, more than 100 developers currently have access to the API and right now some of the available layers include Wikipedia, Twitter, Brightkite, Yelp, Trulia, Store Locators, Nearby bust stops, Mobile coupons, Mazda dealers, Tourist information and much more!

This is truly awesome! I would go into more depth explaining the service but two issues are preventing me from doing that:

  1. You’re better off downloading the app and experiencing it first hand
  2. I just downloaded the app and I want to experience it first hand

So I’m off to play with Layar. Think of it as Google’s Places Directory and Sherpa had an awesome virtual reality baby that used layers from Google Sky Map. Or… yeah that’s just a lot more confusing then it needed to be. I’ll try to put together a video at some point today or tomorrow with a review but in the meantime there is a TON of information over on the Layar website so definitely check that out, and I’ve copy/pasted the Press Release below for your convenience!

Press Release: Layar Reality Browser Announces Global Launch and New Features in the Latest Release

Over 100 partners worldwide developing content layers including well known brands

AMSTERDAM, August 17th 2009. Layar, which was first launched in June 2009 in The Netherlands, announces that it’s second generation Reality Browser is now available globally on Android devices. Many new content layers are available in the Reality Browser which vary from Wikipedia, Twitter and Brightkite to local services like Yelp, Trulia, store locator’s, nearby bus stops, mobile coupons, Mazda dealers and tourist, nature and cultural guides.

Layar Reality Browser 2.0
To discover new content quickly and with ease, the new Reality Browser includes sections for ‘Featured’ and ‘Popular’. All layers are also accessible via a keyword search in the search function. Layers that are used often can be saved to ‘Favorites’. In addition to the enhanced augmented reality camera view, it is now possible to select Map or List view. For every Point of Interest (POI), several actions can be taken such as: linking to a mobile site for more information, playing a live location based trivia game, linking to a video or sound clip, clicking to call for reservations, and looking at a route description to the POI. Content partners can fully customize their layer to provide a distinctive experience for the user.

500 more developers
Over 100 developers worldwide have been given access to the Layar platform by means of an API key, and are currently developing layers.

Scott Halcomb of SystemK from Japan, who developed 22 layers including the ‘Sapporo Hotspots’ layer:
“With the Layar API and support of the developers community, creating layers has been a pleasure”.

Dave Elchoness of GoWeb3D from the USA/ India, with 11 layers published including FlickAR:
“We strongly believe that Layar represents the next evolution for mobile applications and feel privileged to participate”.

Michael Coutinho, Technical Manager at Trulia, USA:
“This is a great idea. I was able to develop our layer in about three hours.”

To further grow the community of developers, Layar has released an additional 500 new API keys. The supporting wiki (, with developer instructions and documentation, are all now available.

Layar for all
Starting from today, Layar is available for everyone with an Android phone anywhere in the world.  The Reality Browser can be downloaded in all local Android Markets and is pre-installed on the new Samsung Galaxy (i7500) in the Netherlands.

Dirk Groten, CTO:
“The next platform on which Layar will be available is the iPhone 3GS. We are currently investigating other platforms that support our functionalities.”

Raimo van der Klein, CEO:
“With the release of this Reality Browser we believe we have created a worldwide platform that will bring both fun and relevant Augmented Reality experiences in one application to a growing audience of users.”

The Layar Reality Browser displays real time digital information on top of reality in the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, tourist information of the area, play a live game, etcetera. Layar first launched on June 16th, 2009 and announced the opening up its platform by means of an API on July 8th, 2009. The Layar platform serves as an enabler for mobile location services – any database with geo-location information can easily be turned in a content layer. The Layar Reality Browser is globally available for mobile phones running the Android operating system. Layar is a company based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Pure awesome.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. 3rd paragraph….
    “layers include Wikipedia, Twitter, Brightkite, Yelp, Trulia, Store Locators, Nearby bust stops”

    Cool, nearby BUST stops. I hope that means what I think it means.

  2. Sweden, Samsung Galaxy (bought from Germany), No Layar found on
    Hope it’s just some lag in market…..

  3. @ SEAN – lmaaooooooo.

  4. why camera??? The app uses it only for having a background…

  5. @ Lukas – Because it’s faster than Google Street View, and requires less memory (i.e., none at all). Since the data layer is streaming via your internet connection, google street view and other picture services would need to thread with the data layer for connectivity, slowing overall preformance.

    Also, Street View isn’t everywhere. The image from your camera looks exactly like the real world, and is 100% accurate to your current location.

  6. It’s REALTY not REALITY.

  7. this kinda scares me. the way technology is shaping up nowadays has an arrow that points straight towards George Orwell’s 1984… 8-)

  8. J. Mac, I think he means, why not just show the dots. The camera makes it choppy and eats battery. At least there should be an option to turn it off when you don’t need it.

  9. Cool – tons of potential!

    1. Working in landscape would be a good addition.

  10. It’s not bad, they definitely put some effort into this app. The camera view is kinda gimmicky. Sticking with the map view or list view is best. Google’s places directory shows many of the same things but I guess the plus to this app is the ability to add other “layers”.

  11. The reality view should have some sort of distance recognition, because it really is just a background now.

  12. For me, such apps are just wow-apps, that everybody must download because of the revolutionary progress. But for future, there is no reason for use. No, thats wrong said. Maybe there is a use, but limited to the information. For Future I will not watch all the time at my phone to see where i have to go. More interesting would be to have a voice in the ear saying me, ok now turn right to go to your choosen destination.
    The only way augmented reality apps have a chance is to provide recognition of the objects. There are development firms creating for example an augmented reality app for face recognition.
    If I use an augmented Reality app, and this reality app takes information based on GPS, then it´s for me just a Pseudo-Augmented Reality app…

  13. No longer available in the Android market?

  14. Can’t find it in the market either… =(

  15. I couldn’t find it on the market either…. This sucks

  16. Yeah, I can’t find it on the market either. What gives?

  17. Ok, thought I was the only one having a hard time finding it. Anyone know why they pulled it?

  18. Looks like it’s not compatible with 2.0 yet(if the people above me have the Droid too). Layar says v3 will support it and will be out in a few weeks, posted on the 6th, so I’d guess a month at least.

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