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There are times when you don’t need to create your own mobile Augmented Reality (AR) application from scratch.  You can make use of a few libraries that make creating augmented reality apps much easier.  Let’s briefly look at two specific AR solutions: Layar Player and ARKit.

The Layar Player SDK was created by the people behind the Layar app for iPhone and Android.  The Layar Player SDK allows developers to embed their own augmented reality “layers” directly into a mobile application, while maintaining the same Layar look and feel.  Before this SDK was released, developers would have to kick users out of their own apps and direct them to Layar’s app.

Integrating the SDK is as simple as including the library and adding a few lines of code.  This solution may not work for you if you’re looking for complete control over the AR experience.  In order to customize all aspects of the AR app, you’ll need to roll your own from scratch or use a library like ARKit.

ARKit (http://github.com/zac/iphonearkit/) is a set of classes that you can include in your own applications to provide a mobile augmented reality experience.  The main use of ARKit is to easily provide you with a solution to overlay information on top of the camera view.  The library is fully open-source, which allows you to customize any part of ARKit to suit your needs.  The main repository on GitHub has been inactive since 2009, although there are many other “forks” of the code-base that are frequently maintained (http://github.com/zac/iphonearkit/network/).

Depending on your needs, either of these solutions can help you provide a great augmented reality experience.  If you need something simple and aren’t looking to do much customization, you should use the Layar Player SDK.  If you’re looking to dive into the code to make the experience more unique, take a look at the ARKit library.

Safari Books Online has the content you need

Take advantage of these Augmented Reality and iOS resources in Safari Books Online:

Professional Augmented Reality Browsers for Smartphones: Programming for junaio, Layar, and Wikitude guides you through creating your own augmented reality apps for the iPhone, Android, Symbian, and bada platforms, featuring fully workable and downloadable source code.
Infinite Possibility explores eight different realms of experience encompassing various aspects of Reality and Virtuality and, using scores of examples, shows how innovative companies operate within and across each realm to create extraordinary customer value.
Prototyping Augmented Reality teaches you to create augmented reality apps using the Processing open-source programming language.

About the author

  Brendan Lim is an accomplished Ruby, iOS, Android, and Mac developer (learn more about him at brendanlim.com). He has spoken and keynoted at various conferences on cutting-edge tech and mobile platforms. He’s a Y Combinator alum and Co-founder of Kicksend (http://kicksend.com), an extremely simple way to instantly send files to the people you know. Brendan is also the co-author of MacRuby in Action.

Tags: android, Augmented Reality, iOS,

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