Innovative startups managed to scoop up some hefty cash prizes in Amsterdam on Friday. In addition to RidgeBlade winning EUR 500,000 in the Green Challenge, augmented reality browser Layar bagged EUR 75,000 in Vodafone's Mobile Clicks contest.
Layar is a free mobile browser that displays digital information over the real world image that a user views through his or her mobile phone. By turning on Layar and pointing her phone's camera at a row of houses, for example, a user can see prices and details for houses that are on sale, can easily find nearby Thai restaurants or—in case of a cardiac emergency—locate the closest defibrillator. Besides layering practical information, the Dutch application is also being used to create games that mix real and imagined worlds.
Developed by the same team that created ING's ATM finder, Layar presents endless opportunities for entrepreneurs aiming to reach, help, entertain and delight consumers wherever they are. One to check out, if you haven't already! Layar is currently available for phones that run Android, with a version for iPhone 3GS to follow soon. (Related: iPhone app uses augmented reality to help road warriors find a place to work.)
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