Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have announced the availability of a developer preview of Kamra, a mobile browser based on open web standards. The first augmented reality browser for the KHARMA (KML/HTML Augmented Reality Mobile Architecture) development platform, Kamra offers users multiple simultaneous augmented content overlayed on top of a live video scene.

The KHARMA platform allows for content creation using HTML and JavaScript web development tools already in widespread use and is said to cater for the overlay of almost any web technology into a live scene. At the heart of KHARMA is an extended version of a coding language currently used for such things as Google Earth, called Keyhole Markup Language (KML), which models and stores geographic features for display over a scene.

The platform has been built upon a framework of channel servers, infrastructure servers, geospot servers and an open source, standards-based mobile client. The Kamra browser allows users to open multiple augmented reality content channels, each of these being a URL that delivers visual additions to a live video scene and which could potentially interact with each other for an enhanced browsing experience.

Three-dimensional models from infrastructure servers are used to correctly place augmented content within a scene and make sure that such things work in tandem with user behavior and interaction. Accuracy of the augmentation is aided by letting a user find the nearest known geographic locations (geospots) so that the range of visible items can be increased at each position. It also allows developers and authors to customize exactly how and when such items are presented to the user.

The Georgia Tech researchers have now opened up Kamra to content developers and authors so that collaborative applications, website-specific content or custom browser behaviors can be produced. An iPhone version for users was promised for the end of June but has yet to appear, we'll keep you posted.

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