First Person UIs on Android

by June 25, 2009

In my iPhone with a Compass = First Person UIs article, I discussed how location and orientation awareness in mobile devices opens up a set of new interface possibilities that are designed from the user’s current perspective. In other words, first person user interfaces that are built knowing where you are and where you are facing.

Recently I found three such applications have made their way to Google's Android Market. Though in their early stages, these apps demonstrate the potential of creating user interfaces from a natural, first person perspective: how we actually see the world.

IBM Seer beta

The IBM Seer beta is an application designed to help you navigate you way through a better time at Wimbledon. Point your phone at anything the app will tell you what it is. In camera mode what you're looking at and what's happening there now. For example, concessions reveal themselves to you and then tell you how long you can expect to queue. Check out screenshots of the app in action.


Layar shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone (Augmented Reality). This version is available in the Netherlands only.


See the world through your phone’s camera view overlaid with Wikipedia content. What you see is an annotated landscape, mountain names, landmark descriptions, and interesting stories: Augmented-reality for everyday use.