Magnetic & Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Brings City’s Landmarks to Cannes Real Estate Expo

Chris Cameron June 23, 2015

Earlier this year, we featured Layar Partner Network member Magnetic London in our Partner Spotlight, showcasing some of the amazing campaigns the agency had launched in 2014. So far, 2015 is turning out to be a big year for them as well.

In February, Magnetic London was appointed as the official designers for Istanbul Chamber of Commerce’s “Istanbul Pavilion” at MIPIM (The International Market for Real Estate Professionals) by THEPARTNERS, the executive producer of the campaign. MIPIM is the world’s most prestigious real estate exposition, held in Cannes, France. To help advance the event’s theme of “Digital Revolution,” the agency heavily incorporated Augmented Reality with Layar into the pavilion experience.

From outdoor billboards to magazine adverts, all of the printed material for the event and some of the walls of the pavilion were augmented with extra digital content. Event-goers could scan the items to see introductory videos or infographics, get direct links to the campaign’s dedicated website, follow them on social media and view interactive photo slideshows.

Of interest was the “Carry Istanbul in Your Pocket” project, which allowed visitors to be immersed in 3D panoramic photographs to discover the sights and sounds of some of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks. The experience was unlocked from a series of four pocket size cards, of which over 20,000 were passed out at the event. Everything was done in-house by Magnetic, from photo shoots to design and setting up the AR side of the project.

“At MIPIM we had the chance to blend our core strength (good design) with Augmented Reality to introduce Istanbul to a global audience with pocket-size cards that people can carry wherever they go – a very simple yet very much advanced tool,” said Kaan Aydogmus, Creative Director at Magnetic. “The audience was amazed how easy it was to use Layar, and what could be achieved with Augmented Reality. It’s been 3 months since the event, but we still witness that people scan these cards from all around the world.”

Additionally, Magnetic embedded 3D models onto large-scale floor posters to let visitors see renderings of finished construction projects still in the planning and construction phase pop up from the floor just by scanning with their mobile phones or tablets. All together it makes for an impressive presentation of the city of Istanbul’s future – and Layar’s Augmented Reality technology helped bring it all to life.

To learn more about the project, check out Magnetic London’s full case study (PDF) on the project.


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Create Personalized AR Greeting Cards with the Layar-Powered Popcards App

Chris Cameron June 23, 2015

The trend of Augmented Reality greeting cards is continuing to gain speed as print and mail services company Hammer Direct – based in Minneapolis, Minnesota – has released Popcards, a greeting card creation app powered by Layar.

Popcards allows users to quickly and easily create a greeting card that literally pops with a video message. Users can personalize their Popcards with pre-designed templates to quickly make a great looking card.

Users can share their printed Popcards with family and friends and watch them enjoy an Augmented Reality video message by scanning the card with a smartphone or tablet. The Popcards app is free, and the printed cards cost just $1.69 each.

“Popcards are the newest innovation in greeting cards since the digital photo,” says Popcards inventor Kurt Johnson. “Our product hinges on the exciting capabilities of Augmented Reality. Layar’s expertise helped us marry technology with a simple user interface that makes it easy for our customers to create, personalize, share and enjoy Popcards.”

The Popcards app, available in the U.S. on iOS and Android. This whitelabel app is powered by Layar’s Augmented Reality and image recognition technology using our Custom App Solutions.


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Restaurant Goers Wowed by Interactive Newspaper-Themed Menu with Layar

Chris Cameron May 12, 2015

Albron, a Dutch food services company, has teamed up with communications agency de Toekomst to bring Layar’s Augmented Reality technology to its restaurant menus. Albron, which operates Grand Café-style restaurants at Center Parcs Holiday Villages across western Europe, commissioned de Toekomst to produce interactive menus that resemble newspapers.

The menus, which have been distributed among Albron’s 10 Center Parcs restaurants in the Netherlands and Belgium, provide an entertaining and engaging restaurant experience for visitors. Customers can use the free Layar App to scan the newspaper-style menu to access interactive digital content.

“People get flooded with information and tend to read less information,” says Corine Holtmaat, Activation Manager for Albron. “Images and video are the right media to tell a story and really engage a viewer, hence the choice for Layar.”

The unlockable content includes food and drink suggestions based on the current weather conditions, videos showing the stories behind foods and brands like chocolate and Heineken, detailed overviews of the restaurant’s catering concepts, and even a poll to vote for their favorite restaurant employee.

“Our company is called de Toekomst, which is Dutch for ‘the future,’ so it’s in our company DNA to look forward to the world of the future and use modern technologies such as Layar for our online and printed media,” says Nic roos, Director of de Toekomst.

The employees of the restaurants have been instructed to help explain the interactive menus to customers, which you can see in the video above (even if you don’t speak Dutch).

To try it yourself, check out our Client Examples page and scan the newspaper menu with Layar.


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Mattel Promotes Barbie® in Canada with Interactive In-Store Displays and Accessories

Chris Cameron April 29, 2015

Toy manufacturer Mattel is turning to Layar’s Augmented Reality technology to promote one of the world’s most iconic and famous toys: Barbie®.

During the busy holiday shopping season, Mattel partnered with Toys“R”Us Canada, one of the world’s largest toy stores, to promote Barbie®. The promotion objective is to engage with young girls and parents at home, in-store and online and runs in store into Summer 2015.

Brandfire Marketing Group was engaged by Mattel with the challenge to bring Barbie® to life throughout the consumer purchase journey. Working with Blippar’s Nigel Newton, Vice President for Canada, Brandfire was able to create an omni-channel campaign that brought consumers in-store and engaged with them at shelf level by inviting them to participate in secret savings. AR content was also featured in select email blasts as well as additional custom-created entertainment content. All of these elements ended with access to a free downloadable Barbie™ Diary with integrated AR content.

The Barbie™ Diary includes several interactive AR elements as well as a savings coupon for all Barbie® purchases in-store at Toys“R”Us Canada. Scanning the coloring pages with the Layar App reveals inspiration for how to complete the drawing, while games and puzzles have their answers revealed through Augmented Reality.

“At Mattel, we are constantly challenging ourselves to innovate at retail and bring our brands to life in-store for the customer. Layar provided a great platform for consumers to interact and engage with our brand directly at shelf in an exciting new way,” said Lu Huang, Sr. Marketing Associate, Barbie®. “We kicked off with a few smaller executions to test out the technology, which was new to us, but we are excited about the endless possibilities. Imagine being able to “meet” a life-size talking and moving Barbie® character at your local Toys“R”Us store – how cool would that be? I’m sure we’re not far away!”

Mattel and Toys“R”Us Canada have also produced both in-store displays as well as direct mail flyers for the campaign. Nearly six million copies of the Toys“R”Us Canada Holiday Toy Book featuring 10 interactive AR pages were distributed to homes and store locations across Canada. Scanning the pages with Layar App provided a direct link to shop for Barbie® online.

This combined promotion from Mattel and Toys“R”Us is a great example of how Augmented Reality and Interactive Print can be used to engage audiences in a wide variety of complementary ways.


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Zalando’s SDK-Powered Interactive Magazine is Back

Chris Cameron April 14, 2015

Last year we told you about how Zalando, Europe’s leading online-only shoe, fashion and accessory retailer, had integrated the Layar SDK into its iOS app to give users a unique AR experience for its magazine. Now, the latest issue of Zalando’s magazine is out with even more great Augmented Reality and Interactive Print experiences.

Several pages within the magazine have been made interactive, giving readers a unique print-to-digital shopping experience that connects items in the magazine with their digital counterparts on the Zalando website. A variety of Augmented Reality features wow readers as photography comes alive with behind-the-scenes videos, and 360-degree experiences give them new views of top products, and much more.

“This new feature is a great opportunity to offer our customers additional inspiration for gifts, festive outfits or even their own wish list,” said Arne Schepker, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Zalando (translated from the company’s German press release). “With videos, music and 3D views, we encourage interaction with our customers and make our brands and products even more vivid.”

iOS users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can download the Zalando app and scan the pages of the latest issue to see the interactive content. To see it in action, have a look at the video below!


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