Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Augmented reality for LibraryThing Local

See more screenshots. Yes, that’s Portland new The Green Hand Bookshop!

LibraryThing programmer Mike has put together a LibraryThing “overlay” for the mobile phone app Layar. It draws on LibraryThing Local to show you the closest bookstores and libraries.

Layar turns your mobile device into an “augmented reality” window on the world. In our case, the app. shows you dots for local bookstores and libraries, so you can head in the right direction, as well as information about it.

Visit Apple’s app store or the Android market to get it. Unfortunately, because it relies on the “compass,” you’ll need an iPhone 3GS (the new ones) or Android phone.

I’m somewhat skeptical of the augmented reality idea, at least until we have heads-up displays inside our eyeglasses. It doesn’t help that Mike’s Android phone has a misaligned compass. But Layar has map and list functions that are extremely useful. Travelers will be particularly impressed by the ability to land somewhere, and instantly know where the local bookstores are.

We have our own “Local Books” application coming out soon. We think it’s going to be a big hit. Until then—and for the added kick of augmented reality—this is some pretty cool stuff.

Come let us know what you think.

Labels: augmented reality, layar, librarything local


  1. AnnaClaire says:

    There's an extra comma at the start of the second paragraph. Just thought I'd point out while I still have some semblance of control over my inerna-stickler.

  2. Peter Kay says:

    Cool – would be awesome if you could do this with physical locations mentioned in actual books

  3. trav says:

    I think this is very cool (even without the eyeglasses). Being able to locate bookstores like this is exactly what local indie shops need.

    Thanks Mike!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any chance of considering making this available for the Palm Pre ?

  5. Mamakats says:

    I love the local bookstore angle, but would *really* appreciate a mobile app that I can review my own library while out and about so that I stop purchasing duplicate copies of books

  6. DBMasterRWB says:

    There was a LibraryThing app in the Android market that allowed you to scan books into your online library. It also allowed you to check your library so that you did not buy duplicates. Unfortunately it seems to have been pulled because the current Library Thing app finds public libraries for you.

    I would like to get that app back.


  7. jkrossner says:

    I also would really, really like something allowing me to check my library. Scanning the books to add to list would also be very helpful.

  8. Ann says:

    What would really be helpful is an android bar code reader app that would enter your books:)..hint hint.

  9. Madelyn says:

    Found LIBRARYTHING Scanner on Appstore [droid] today. It “adds books to LibraryThing quickly using your phone camera. LibraryThingScanner uses the barcoade scanner app to read the ISBN barcode from a book. Your web browser then opens at the Library Thing add book page.”
    If it works as detailed, this is awesome. Downloading it now.

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