SprxMobile, the company behind the mobile augmented reality browser Layar (which has been making waves across the technoverse) today announced that Layar will become an open platform. The first 50 developer keys for the API are available now and can be applied for here. Layar is currently only supported by Android phones and uses a combination of the camera, GPS and compass to calculate orientation and add a “layar” of digital information on top of that. For example, one of the first layars is from a dutch property website. When you point the camera at a house it can tell you whether it is for sale, the asking price and other relevant information. An iPhone edition is in development.
SprxMobile has an interesting philosophy. They do not themselves want to become a huge global company but rather be the spark (hence their name) that sets off a chain reaction of activity in other developers and businesses. This is one of the reasons that they decided to make Layar an open platform. The company has also been receiving an enormous number of inquiries from companies and other bodies who want their own layar and this was also one of the reasons behind the decision. The first Layar developer day will be held in Amsterdam on Aug 17.