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Open standard for Augmented Reality apps on your smartphones

Augmented reality apps merge the virtual world with the real one. Google Goggles is one example, which lets you take a photograph, upload it on SnapTell server and conduct an image search.

Soon users of augmented reality (that finds it use as hawk eye in the cricket field) applications like SnapTell and TagWhat can open one browser which will show all results. Earlier for each augmented reality function, a user need to open a separate app in his smartphone.

This will be possible if the research team from Georgia Tech gets succeed.
The team is working on an open standard, which will find a common way of data handling for different augmented reality services or applications — probably through the same browser.

The standard being developed by the team is called KML (Keyhole Markup Language)/HTML (HyperText Markup Language) Augmented Reality Mobile Architecture, KHARMA. It is an evolution of the existing protocols rather than a complete new invention.

KML is being used by the Google Earth team along with HTML and the research team is using some protocols invented by them too. The research team has also created a browser, Argon, as a sample of the new technology.

The augmented reality apps on smartphones are currently not created through any standard methods, though there are some companies such as Layar which help the developers create augmented reality apps, but they use proprietary technologies.

Google Goggles is such an augmented reality app wherein users can get information of a picture taken by their device. It could be a famous landmark or even a product’s barcode.

TagWhat is another social networking app which allows users to tag places they visit when they take a picture there. Next time, when their friends visit the same place, they can see those tags.

Some of the observers, however, do not agree with the idea of building a standard when the technology itself is relatively new. The success of the standard depends on how widespread is the adoption of the new browser.

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