Real Estate iPhone App 'Layar' vs. the Classifieds

It's amazing how this technology works: Spread out before me on a single, neat page is a whole list of available nearby homes and condos, and even rental apartments. Is it on Layar, one of the latest so-called "augmented reality" mobile phone apps? Are you kidding? I'm using the L.A. Times classified section on-line.

Layar is not a real estate app but an app that brings together augmented reality apps from various vendors, such as,, and

The way it works is you point your phone's camera at a particular block, for example, and select what it is you are trying to find. (A place to eat? Who happens to be Tweeting near you? And my favorite -- places that have government contracts nearby?)

The Layar app uses the visual info, combined with your phone's compass and GPS to show onscreen where to find all this stuff.

Pretty neat. When it works.