You may have noticed that the Layar blog has gone a bit quiet lately. Don’t worry, we’re still alive, but we’ve been hard at work these days on some new ideas that we think you’re really going to like. In the mean time, we thought we’d take a moment to pass on a few items that have come across our radar in the past week or so.
Personally, I’m a history buff so I would encourage you to check out the WW2Museums.com layer. It takes advantage of a huge database of locations related to World War 2, including museums, monuments, cemeteries and general points of interest from all over Europe and the United States. You can browse the database on their website as well - it may surprise you what you might find right around the corner!
We have a bit of company news to share as well, as we bid farewell to one of our earliest employees, Nanda! You maybe remember our “Meet Layar” profile of Nanda back in February, but in case you need a refresher, she has been Layar’s Office/HR/Management Assistant since nearly the very start. Nanda made sure everything around the office ran smoothly, and we will miss her dearly.
And finally, to leave you with a bit of entertainment and wonderment as we head into another summer weekend, have a look at this impressive AR demo. It’s another in a long line of intriguing hacks of the Xbox Kinect system, and it’s pretty amazing how well the 3D model sticks to the tracker used. And to top it all off, the model features live animation mimicking the motion of the person standing infront of the Kinect.
Enjoy that for now, and don’t worry, we’ll have plenty to share with you in the coming weeks. Just you wait.
Last month our very own Maarten Lens-FitzGerald was invited to speak at the Eurovision TV Summit 2011, the world’s “leading event for public service media professionals.” The event features many forums for discussion among contributors and decision-makers in the public service media field, but is capped off with its keynote event, the Common Focus Day.
The Common Focus Day featured discussions ranging from engaging and entertaining younger viewers to how public broadcasters can adapt to the fast-moving demands of a more connected audience. Several speakers addressed Social TV and Interactive TV, and encouraged public broadcasters to create content that could be used to this end.
This year’s focus was on television stations as “multi-platform media services,” so Maarten stood up to talk about the next great media platform: augmented reality. It’s an interesting take on how an existing media platform can expand its capabilities with this up-and-coming industry, and worth a watch. Check out the video on the Eurovision TV Summit website (Maarten’s talk is video #7 in the player), or by clicking the player link below!
Augmented Reality Event 2011 was again provided with an inspiring keynote from Microsoft’s Blaise Aguera y Arcas, creator of Photosynth and architect of Bing Mobile and Bing Maps.
Last year, Blaise provided ARE attendees with a keynote similar to his well-known TED talk on Photosynth. Blaise was equally impressive this year in Santa Clara, providing a keynote on big data and augmented reality - an intersection we appreciate here at Layar.
In his presentation Blaise talks about how Photosynth is evolving and he ends with his latest project: Read Write World. A very impressive project about crunching all available big data to “index, unify, and connect of the world’s geo-linked media. Consisting of a cloud-based geo-indexing, matching and processing services.” All code is intended to be open source, serving an example of what big companies can aspire to.
Once again, we’ve got video for those who couldn’t make it to ARE this year, so check out Blaise’s great talk below!
UNTETHER.tv is an Internet video series hosted by entrepreneur and mobile industry expert Rob Woodbridge. The thesis of the series, Woodbridge says, is to discuss the new business environment created by the burgeoning mobile industry and to hear the stories from the people on the front lines.
The series features interviews with notable mobile industry figures, and recently our very own Maarten Lens-FitzGerald was Rob’s guest for a discussion about Layar and augmented reality. In this interview, which clocks in at just under an hour, Maarten discusses how Layar got off the ground and how we’ve reached where we are today.
But more importantly, Maarten explains where Layar is headed and how augmented reality itself will impact the world in the near future. So take a look at the embedded video below, or if you’d rather kick back with your eyes closed you can also download and audio version of the interview for your listening pleasure.