Augmented reality app provider Layar made a very interesting announcement today - it's making its AR technology available for all iPhone apps. In other words, expect to see a lot more innovative AR-related features in a lot of apps.
This extension of AR tech comes in the form of Layar's Layar Player (now out of beta). It's available to all agencies, brands, and developers to use to include AR (for free, no less) in their iPhone apps.
Layar already has a million active users on its platform, which can be reached as a result of this, and I would have to assume this will help spur growth in that number. As interesting use-cases for the platform increase, user interest is likely to follow.
"This year is about the democratization of augmented reality as we work to find ways to make it easier for everyone to create and publish AR content," said Claire Boonstra, co-founder and VP of platform and community. "The Player availability is the first of many activities Layar will be announcing this year to make this democratization happen."
Layar names a few integrations in its announcement, which include the Bing-sponsored "Snowboard Hero", VerbeterdeBuurt, and Layar Trade. The first lets players earn more points; Layar Trade is an app that helps people view recent projects and work from local builders, and VerbeterdeBuurt is an app for letting neighbors post their issues and ideas for the public space on a map.
As discussed in another recent article pertaining to a new eBay fashion app, augmented reality is likely to play an increasingly significant role in e-commerce, and much of that will be dependent on how businesses and other app developers integrate the technology.
Announcements like Layar's should help stimulate this. Last year, Layar revealed the Layar stream, which opens up some doors for local brick and mortar businesses as well.
While today's announcement doesn't mention any details about the Layar Player becoming available for Android or other platforms, we imagine it's only a matter of time. Layar itself is already available on Android.