"Augmented Reality (AR) is one of those nebulous computing terms
that can mean entirely different things to any two vendors. AR
covers everything from games to computer vision to mash-ups of Web
services — but the most useful applications are those mobile
browsers that grab your current location and overlay relevant
information about the things around you. Layar, Google Goggles, and
Wikitude, for example, can place photos, Web pages, or a multitude
of other information about your surroundings right at your
fingertips. But if you care about open source, have no fear: there
are plenty of alternatives to the proprietary AR app vendors. Let's
look at what they offer, where they differ from proprietary AR, and
where the field seems to be going.
"Android users have the rosiest view of the AR landscape. The
open source applications closest in usage to the commercial AR
browsers are Mixare, AugmentThis, and ARviewer. All are available
as stand-alone apps from the Android Market, or from their
individual project sites — and each can be used as an engine
on which other apps are built."
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