As a countdown to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, we’re profiling all 30 of our fellow 2011 Tech Pioneer award winners. Check our full profile series to learn more.
What they do:
Point your mobile phone and prepare to be amazed. Layar’s mobile “augmented reality” application uses your phone’s camera, compass, and GPS data to identify your location and field of view. Then, it augments your reality with “layers.” Point your phone at a restaurant to get reviews and menu tips or at a historical building to see its past incarnations; play games based on your surroundings; or peek inside a museum or concert hall to see the art that’s hanging on the wall or get info on the band that’s jamming inside.
Why it’s cool:
As much fun as hallucinogenics may be, they have a tendency to get in the way of a healthy and productive lifestyle. Layar allows you to “augment” your reality in a much less risky–and dare we say, even educational–way. The medium of augmented reality is still in its early stages, but many experts view the technology, which helps users better understand the context of their surroundings, as the next big thing in entertainment and advertising.