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Go Dutch: Using Your Smartphone to See Yesterday and Tomorrow, Today.

April 18, 2010

The Dutch have designed it again (and put it to oddly incongruous club music).

Building on the recent success of Layar augmented reality browser, (a free mobile browser that displays digital information over the real world image that a user views through his or her mobile phone) the Netherlands Architecture Institute has introduced SARA, the world’s first mobile architecture application featuring augmented reality with 3D models.

Download the app (available at the Apple App store and Android Market) and simply hold up your smartphone to see photos, videos, 3D models, scale models and other details about current buildings as well as those from the past and those planned for the future. SARA also allows you to add your own information about any building, or map your own architectural tours. Though SARA currently only covers Rotterdam, the whole country is expected to be covered within five years.

Though I am currently jealous of the Dutch, I am excited to see all of the ways in which augmented reality browsers will become key components of tourism in the future.  Give it a few years and perhaps tours of foreign monuments will be given by people whose accent you can understand.

Now that really is augmented reality.

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