June 22, 2021

Argon, the Augmented Reality Web Browser, Available Now on iPhone (Free)

From a Georgia Tech Announcement:

Argon marks the first significant step in marrying the power of the Internet to the world of augmented reality.  Until now, most AR applications had to be developed and deployed on the user’s mobile device, limiting the reach of the technology.  Commercial attempts at creating more general AR browser platforms have offered limited content and interaction options.

What makes Argon different from standard mobile Internet browsers is its ability to put content out into the world. Argon takes video from the phone’s camera and renders graphical content on top of it.  With this initial release, any content that can be displayed in the iPhone’s Mobile Safari Web browser can be pushed out into the world on virtual billboards. Other content can be created using forms and Javascript.  Future releases will also include support for a range of 3D content.

“Basically, there are lots of little programs that provide the ability to use AR to put some information out in the world around you.  Some, like these early browsers, also allow users to contribute content, but none allow the full range of dynamic content, control and interactivity of the Web, with everything hosted on your own servers,” said MacIntyre.

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For example, rather than just displaying the locations of businesses or other nearby places, you can customize the content delivery as you desire.  When you use the browser to view the channel for a theater, the channel might display the movie times, allow you to view previews of the films, or create in-browser games and interactive experiences tied to the movies you choose.  Those games might be collaborative with other nearby viewers, or with people at another theater across town or across the country. The possibilities are endless.

“If you look at the history of any media, such as film or the Web, initially the content creators are the same people who created the technology,” said MacIntyre. “But at some point that begins to change, and tools come along that allow many people to begin to work with the technology. When that happens, we begin to discover what the medium is truly about.  With the KHARMA specifications, and the Argon browser, we want to put AR into the hands of the millions of people who know how to create websites, and hopefully take a step toward understanding the potential of AR.

View an Introductory Video

A Picture of the Argon Reality Browser for iPhone

Download the Argon Reality Browser for iPhone (Free)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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