Friday, September 25, 2009

Bionic Eye - An Augmented Reality iPhone App

Bionic Eye is a new iPhone 3GS application to visualize Points of Interest (POI) located in your nearby environment in the US, thanks to a unique Augmented Reality functionality using the iPhone camera. It is similar to the Layar Mobile Augmented Reality Browser which have been released for Android phones earlier.

Bionic Eye's POI databases include restaurants, WiFi hotspots, subway stations (New York Subway, Washington Metro, Chicago L Rapid Transit), etc. Over 100.000 POI are already included in this application.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Netflix Everywhere: Sorry Cable, You're History

Wired: Netflix Everywhere: Sorry Cable, You're History

Today, nearly 3 million users access Netflix's instant streaming service, watching an estimated 5 million movies and TV shows every week on their PCs or living room sets. They get it through Roku Digital Video Player, which was successfully launched in May 2008. (The Roku now also offers more than 45,000 movies and TV shows on demand through and, since August, live and archived Major League Baseball games.) They get it through their Xbox 360s—Microsoft added Netflix to its Xbox Live service last fall. They get it through LG and Samsung Blu-ray players. They get it through their TiVos and new flatscreen TVs. By the end of 2009, nearly 10 million Netflix-equipped gadgets will be hanging on walls and sitting in entertainment centers. And Hastings says this is just the beginning: "It's possible that within a few years, nearly all Internet-connected consumer electronics devices will include Netflix."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Layar Mobile Augmented Reality Browser

Layar is a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.

Layar is available for the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and other Android phones in all Android Markets. It comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy in the Netherlands.

How do you use Layar?

By holding the phone in front of you like a camera, information is displayed on top of the camera display view.

For all points of interest which are displayed on the screen, information is shown at the bottom of the screen.

What do you see in the screen?

On top of the camera image (displaying reality) Layar adds content layers. Layers are the equivalent of webpages in normal browsers. Just like there are thousands of websites there will be thousands of layers. One can easily switch between layers by selecting another via the menu button, pressing the logobar or by swiping your finger across the screen.

The Layar Content Catalog includes the following categories:
  • Real estate
  • Health care
  • Transportation
  • Tourism: Places to stay
  • Tourism / Tours / Guides
  • Leisure and entertainment
  • Games
  • Weather
  • Retail
  • University / Schools
  • Local search & Directory service
  • Social networks & communities
What does it take to make a layer

A layer consists of three parts: The layer definition, the list of POIs (Points of Interest) and each individual POI.

The layer definitions are created on the Layar Provisioning website and stored in the Layar database. The web interface will allow developers to set all the attributes that make the look & feel of the layer. It will also allow the developer to manage the publishing process of a layer. Once published, the end-user will be able to view the new layer in the Layer Gallery inside the app.

In summary, a layer developer needs to create a layer definition via the Layer Provisioning Website and expose a web service (REST) that can be called by the Layar Server using the Layar API and optionally expose (made-for-mobile) web pages for further action on each POI.