If you haven’t heard yet, there is an app for Android and iPhone that has been released that is getting quite a bit of attention recently. This is not a new app, as instructional videos have existed since 2009 and it won Disruptive Innovator at the 2010 Deloitte Fast 50 awards. The app is called Layar.
A large part of the reason that this application is getting more attention recently is the integration feature that they have installed with Instagram. Before we can go into specific details on these features a description of the Layar app needs to be discussed. The Layar app works by showing you a video imaging of what you show through your phone’s camera lense. It then works to produce a layer of text and pictures of information outlining the different stores, restaurants, real estate, etc that are around you. This way you can directly look at a building and see the restaurants inside. The visual effects are exciting and have worked to develop a concept called Augmented Reality, which means the changing or modifying of what your phone shows as the camera images by inserting the database information on top of the view. So how does this relate to Instagram?
Recently, this application has allowed you to complete these same actions, but rather than see images and texts about restaurants or stores, you can see Instagram images that have been uploaded around you. So if you are at your home and you hold your phones camera up to show your neighbor’s house, you should be able to see any Instagram photos that have been uploaded from that location. Screen shots have been attached below that show the search that came up when pointing my phone at a wall and facing another persons house. This is really incredible technology as it allows you to connect in new ways with those neighbors or people close by. It also can help to identify trends in certain areas, for example if one was to do this same search near a dog park, there should be a lot of cute dog pictures that would be uploaded and viewable. It is almost like locational hashtags.
And here are the Instagram photo capability displayed largely:
Lets just run a quick Groundswell check of the integration of this Layar application with Instagram to see how much potential it has:
1. Does it allow people to connect? – Yes, through seeing other people’s photos who are nearby.
2. Is it effortless to sign up for? -Yes, with a simple download you can be viewing the photos uploaded near you.
3. Does it shift power from the institution to people? -Not really as there is not much of a marketing relation with this type of product, other than choosing a restaurant or store that is purely close by rather than based on advertising dollars.
4. Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself? -Yes, as the photos uploaded alone by people close by would continue to provide a large amount of content.
5. Is it an open platform that invites partnership? -Absolutely, we just saw it with Instagram.
Passing 4 out of the 5 isn’t too bad and could lead to a promising future. Check it out and I encourage you to give this cool application a try, again, it’s available for both iPhone and Android users. If you’ve already tried it, what do you think?