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Engagement Competition

maurice groenhart November 11, 2009

Do you have a great idea for an engaging layer?

What are we looking for?

We are looking for great and innovative ideas for engaging layers that will connect customer with for example brands by “engaging” them in a dialogue and two-way, cooperative interaction.

For example:

The Dutch Heart Foundation will launch a layer on Valentine day which makes it possible to post 3D hearts with a message on different positions. This results in people looking at street with Layar and seeing all the 3D hearts in front of house. You really see the love out there! This layer will connect customers and the brand in a positive way, by using valentine messages which customers can post and send to each other within the layer. Next to that the layer creates a dialog between these customer and between the costumers and the brand. The users of this layer will create a positive association with the Heart Foundation.

Other examples could be treasure hunts (find the secret…, explore the city in a unique way), storytelling (including historical stories - what happened here), visualizations (how did/ should it look like), 3D art etc.

Anything which creates an engaging experience, making people to want to come back and to ‘dive’ into the layer. Think out-of-the-box and feel free to add new features in your idea which we currently don’t support in Layar

Which criteria will be used to evaluate my idea?

We will use the following criteria to evaluate your idea.

  • Creativity

  • Feasibility

  • Added value for user or brands

How can I enter the competition?


What’s in it for me?

We will reward the best idea with an Android phone. With Layar of course ; )


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Jens de Smit developed a PHP-based POI server

maurice groenhart November 11, 2009

Jens de Smit developed a PHP-based POI server for Layar which is called PorPOISe, the Portable Point-of-Interest Server for Layar. Jens is currently working at SURFnet in the Netherlands.

jensCould you tell us something about your first introduction to Layar?

As part of my job I’m always looking for new technologies which can be useful for our company and our users. We came across Layar and the technology looked very promising to us, so we decided to build our own layer for the eduroam project. The eduroam layer allows users to find eduroam hotspots, which allow students and staff of participating institutions to connect to wireless networks all over the Netherlands.

Why did you create the PorPOISe server for Layar?

Layar provides an interface specification for the client but no reference server. It was my intention to determine how much effort was required for interested parties to get started using Layar. I estimated that a working solution could be realised with only a few hours work, so I simply started from scratch. The end result looked like it could be quickly adapted into a piece of reusable software so I decided to do that and thus PorPOISe emerged.

Why did you share the code and documentation?

SURFnet is not-for-profit but all about stimulating innovation. We try to spread technical knowledge so sharing code and documentation comes very natural to us. As I said, there was no server for Layar openly available so I decided to release mine to the public. I hope this will also help the less experienced developers among us to create their own layers.

Did you expect that many reactions on your PorPOISe server?

I wasn’t aware of the involvement of the developers on the Google Groups when I made PorPOISe public, so I was a little bit surprised at first. I received a lot of positive reactions on my post. The one from James Morley was really nice: it only took him 30 minutes to have a layer up and running after getting PorPOISe.

It’s great to see that there are some very active developers within the community so we can all work on great things and share our knowledge.

Any plans for the future?

We are currently working on a web interface that will make it possible to create your own layers without coding. With this tool, anyone will be able to create and manage a layer.

We would like to thank Jens for his time and of course for sharing the code.


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200th layer launched: Find bikes in the city of Rennes, France

Redactie November 6, 2009

screen shotWe are very proud to announce that today the 200th layer has been launched: Le Vélo STAR layer in the city of Rennes, France.

Le Vélo STAR is a bike rental service with bike stations throughout the city of Rennes. The layer shows you where is the nearest rental station around you and how many bikes are available at this station.

We spoke with Amiel Lavon, Directeur de projet from In Cité Solution who developed the layer, just before he went off for an official photo shoot to make wonderful screen shots of the “Le Vélo STAR”-layer.

Well, you are the 200th layer, congratulations!! What is your first reaction on that?

Surprise, we have this idea in mind for several weeks, but just found the time to develop the layer this week. We found that Layar is a great technology and we are happy to provide the 200th layer, and we hope to provide a lot of layers in the future.

What do you think is the coolest part of your layer?

The real time information of bike availability. Our layer provides not only the position of the bike station but also the number of bikes on each station in real-time.

Watch the video on

What are your future layer plans? And will that next layer be nr 201 or will it take some more time ;-)

We plan to provide a layer for a social network on Rennes city and we work a lot with the transportation sector in France and we plan to provide some layer with us around bike, bus and metro.  And a last word, we use Typo3 cms for development and we plan to release an extension for it in open source to share with the developer community.

Amiel, thanks for the nice chat and we wish you and In Cité Solution good luck with your plans.
Off course we want to thank all of you who developed and launched their layers before as well for publishing such cool content, making the Layar Reality Browser what it is now. Keep up the good work!

Le Vélo star Le Vélo star


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Verizon’s new Droid is currently not supported by Layar

Dirk Groten November 6, 2009

Layar is currently not compatible with the Verizon Droid by Motorola that was launched today in the US.

This is due to an API change in the Android implementation on this device. It breaks a feature that was enabling Layar to draw a camera view in portrait mode and overlay it with the well-known Layar interface elements. Unfortunately this is not something that can be fixed easily. Therefore Layar is not available for users of Verizon’s Droid phone at this moment. Note that the Verizon Droid Eris phone is supported, as it runs on a different Android implementation.

The upcoming major version of Layar (v3) will change this and we will also support Android 2.0 devices in this new version. We expect this version to hit the Android Market in a few weeks. For all of you with a Verizon Droid, thanks for your patience.


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Layar Rapid Development Tools

Cari Davidson November 5, 2009

Hey Layar Developers!

If you’re looking for a rapid development tool to create your layer, we’ve had a few fantastic creations come up lately, and we thought we’d share them with you.



django-layar is a project of Sunlight Labs (c) 2009.
by James Turk
Provides abstract class that responds to Layar API requests in the appropriate format. By implementing two small functions it is possible to add a layer to the Layar augmented reality application for Android and iPhone.



by Jens de Smit

A PHP-based POI server for Layar. You can find code and documentation at It can run with both tab-delimited files and a relational database as a backend, as well as an XML format.



by Dylan Phillips

If you are a C# developer, and want to get on the Layar Bus.  Check it out.  Invitations are also open for folks who want to contribute. Check it out here:

The license is open source, so you are welcome to include it in your own commercial products.


Programmer Joe

He’s not an engine, but he is a coding machine…   Joe Ludwig has published the python code for one of his Layar projects in his blog post here. For the impatient, Here’s the code.


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