The future of the mobile web: Augmented Reality

For a while the mobile web has been perceived to be dead, at least in the sense of customised mobile friendly web pages, which have been rendered mostly irrelevant with the arrival of more and more smartphones with capable browser, that display full web-pages more than satifactorily.

This is probably to a large extent correct (although it will be interesting to see if HTML 5 could lead to an upsurge in mobile targeted web apps), however I still think the concept of a “mobile web” is still entirely valid, i.e. in the sense of a version of the web purely targeted at the mobile user.

The new mobile web will take the form of augmented reality, as demonstrated by a new android app from Layar.

The potential for this is staggering, imagine being able to navigate to your destination with arrows and guides superimposed over the pavement/road itself, having the bus you need to get on being highlighted in your line of view, detecting and highlighting pedestrians who may not be visible when driving at night. The computer games you could develop with this would be immense as well, check out Halting State by Charles Stross for examples on how this could work.

It seems to me that the mobile web isn’t dead, it hasn’t truly been born yet.