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Reprints This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now. July 28, 2010 By BOB TEDESCHI I have faith that once the novelty of the coolest new smartphone feature wears off, I will again walk the streets with my eyes open to the world around me, not to the screen of a smartphone. Until then, forget it. The best new thing to hit smartphones is augmented reality. These apps, like Goggles (free, for Android phones) and Layar (free, for Android and Apple devices), are like space-age glasses. Point your smartphone in any direction and look through the camera viewer, and it will reveal information about what it sees. Want to know the artist responsible for the print hanging in that restaurant? The name of the building with the enormous gargoyles? The last selling price of that house up ahead? Pull out your smartphone and press a button. There are limits, of course, even for apps like Goggles and Layar, which are two of the more promising entrants in this category. Neither will recognize your plate of beef stroganoff and tell you what’s in it, nor will they tell you the name and number of that beautiful stranger in the corner. But those limits are nothing compared to the jolt you’ll get when they work. I opened
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