Augmented Reality is Now 3D—on LG's Optimus 3D Phone, Anyway

LG's pinched Layar's idea and made it 3D, though I suppose Wikitude is partly to blame/thank too. They're calling it the world's first 3D AR browser, and it'll only be available on LG's Optimus 3D phone for starters.

You can probably expect it to roll out onto other 3D handsets later, once LG gets some models off the production lines. Available mid-June from LG's app store, the app will provide details on over 100m locations. You can check out some more info in LG's press release below, or crib up on LG's first 3D phone here (or the Thrill 4G, as it'll be known in the States when AT&T starts offering it.)

SEOUL and SALZBURG, AUSTRIA, May 11, 2011 – LG Electronics (LG), in collaboration with augmented reality (AR) pioneer Wikitude, today announced the adoption of the world's first three dimensional AR browser on its upcoming LG Optimus 3D smartphone.

The Wikitude 3D browser allows for better interaction and engagement with real-time user environments. While 2D AR only displays overlapped objects, 3D AR shows places, landmarks and objects in 3D making them easier to distinguish. The browser al-lows users to discover details about their surroundings and access related Wikipedia articles and Twitter information.

"AR technology has been praised for its potential to replace the ‘abstract' realities of standard mobile browsers with ‘actual' reality streamed through the camera of the smartphone," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO and President of LG Mobile Communica-tions Company. "LG's cutting-edge hardware and 3D API software technology now pushes this reality a step further."

Wikitude 3D includes information on over 100 million locations around the world, with contributions from more than 1,000 content providers. The browser currently provides support for 12 languages with plans to increase this number in the near future. Users can download Wikitude 3D from LG World, LG`s dedicated application store for free, staring in the middle of June.

"The synergy here is simply perfect and the resulting partnership has the potential to take both AR and smartphones to a whole new level," said Martin Herdina, CEO of Wikitude.

The LG Optimus 3D introduces a number of innovative first technologies, including the world's first dual-core, dual-channel, dual-memory architecture, as well as the first full 3D platform providing glasses-free viewing, recording and sharing of 3D content.

The LG Optimus 3D will be available this summer starting in Europe followed by other markets around the world.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a real-time technology which works by overlaying detailed information on user surroundings, including graphics, audio, and more, as captured through smartphone cameras and other devices.