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Rotterdam has got a brand new toy: UAR!

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The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) has launched Urban Augmented Reality (UAR) : the world’s first mobile architecture application featuring augmented reality with 3D models. Starting today, you can see and experience the built environment of the past, present and future, via Layar Browser. The NAI has set itself an incredible challenge: to make the Netherlands the first country in the world to have its entire architecture viewable on smartphones thanks to augmented reality. From 30 June 2010, UAR can be downloaded from Android Market and the Apple App Store.

Augmented Reality
The principle of augmented reality is very simple: just point your smartphone at a building and get to see not only photos and video material but 3D models, scale models and interesting details and information about it. As of in the end of June 2010, you’ll be able to receive on your smartphone all kinds of information about the building currently on the site – along with details about what was there before, and what projects are planned there for the future. You can also add your own information about the building or plot out architecture walks taking in designs that particularly appeal to you.

Market Hall
The world’s first building to appear in three dimensions on the smartphone via augmented reality is the eye-catching Market Hall which is currently under construction in Rotterdam ’s Blaak area. The Market Hall was designed by architects MVRDV and is being built by Provast.

UAR will be available in Layar starting in December. At 30 June 2010, the application can be downloaded from Android Market and the Apple App Store. In this version, the entire city of Rotterdam will be viewable via augmented reality followed in October by Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Within the next 5 years, UAR is expected to have evolved into a complete national architecture guide.

Check the app out on YouTube:

If you’re interested, you can download it from App Store or Android Market.