The next subject to be placed under our Layar Creation Tools microscope is buildAR, a web-app built by Australia’s MOB Labs. Much like the previously reviewed Skaloop, buildAR is a simple web-based interface for adding POIs to a map which can be viewed using Layar.
There are two different account types: personal and business. At the moment, both account types have identical functionality, but buildAR will eventually help business account holders launch their very own layer. Using either account allows you to add POIs to a publicly viewable layer. You can specify certain POIs to be private, making them viewable only to you when you login to buildAR from within Layar.
To start adding POIs, simply create either a personal or business account, which are both free to try. After logging in with your account, navigate to a location on the map, or search for a location to go there instantly. To add a POI, just click on the map where you want it to be placed. You can then add a name, a description and some links to associate with the POI. Then select whether to make the POI public or private, and you’re done!
To view POIs in Augmented Reality, simply boot up Layar on your iPhone or Android device and search for the buildAR layer. When the layer loads, there will be automatically placed POIs near you that will allow you to log in to your buildAR account. After you log in, any private POIs will become visible. To get the best view, we recommend switching to “Birdseye” mode to see over nearby POIs.
The features of buildAR are still very basic and do not contain all of the possible functionality of the Layar platform. Adding 3D objects, custom icons or advanced actions are not yet supported. Additionally, it would be nice to have the option to hide public POIs when viewing private POIs within Layar, as the screen can become cluttered, making it hard to find your personal spots.
Despite all this, the basic function of adding POIs is very easy and fast and requires very little technical skill to complete. If you want to quickly and easily view your very own POIs, perhaps buildAR is the right Layar Creation Tool for you!
Note: Since this blog was posted, buidAR has since updated its platform significantly, including support for animation, 3D objects and more.