Part of the Blippar Group


Some small changes to the Layar API in preparation for Layar Stream

Dirk Groten May 14, 2010

Today we’ve updated our API in preparation for Layar Stream. The update is for the GetPointsOfInterest request/response and was documented on our wiki earlier today. In this post, I’ll explain in a bit more detail the reasoning behind the changes and how you can use them.

1. Switch off indexing for Layar Stream on POI level

The new parameter doNotIndex can be added to your response for each POI to indicate to the Layar Stream engine that it should not be indexed. When our engine sees this parameter set for a POI, it will just ignore the POI.

You should use this if there are specific POIs in your layer that you don’t want to have indexed. Remember that you can switch off indexing for your layer all together in the Inventory Management tab under your account. Examples where you might want to avoid indexing of a POI are:

  • POIs in a gaming layer that contain clues that only should show up under certain circumstances, e.g when a user unlocked it

  • POIs that are dynamically placed near a user because they contain actions for the layer, like a POI for placing an easter egg. The actual easter eggs would be indexed, not the ‘helper’ POIs.

  • POIs that form part of a greater chain of POIs that don’t make sense on their own. Large geographical 3D objects in certain layers are formed by multiple POIs, like the Berlin Wall layer.

  • POIs that can only be seen by the user when he logged in. Note that for layers that have the authentication required set to true, the POIs are not indexed anyway.

2. Identify the POI that triggers a getPOI request and mark it in the response

The new parameter requestedPoiId in the request, together with the new parameter inFocus in the response permit the layer developer to make sure the POI the user is actually interested in remains in focus when the layer is opened in the AR view.

When a user sees a POI in Layar Stream, selects it and decides to open the actual layer which generated the POI, he would certainly like to still see the POI once the AR view is rendered. Whilst there is no guarantee that the POI is still there, I’d like to urge you to try to include the requested POI in the response, even if the current request parameters wouldn’t return the POI in the first place.

So if you see a ‘requestedPoiId’ in the request, make an extra request to your database to include this particular POI in the response, and mark it in your response with ‘inFocus’ set to true.

3. Extra parameters identifying the client

We’ve added two parameters that will help you identifying the client that’s making the request:

  • User-Agent: We now include the User-Agent string in the HTTP headers, which will tell you what Layar version on which device the user is actually using. The string has 3 parts:

    • “Layar/x.y” tells you which version of the Layar app the client is running;

    • “<deviceOS>/x.y” tells you what OS and which version of it is running on the device;

    • “(<brand> <model>) tells you the actual brand and model of the device.

    Now, <brand> and <model> tend to be pretty messy on a lot of devices, so don’t expect to recognize them all. We’re just passing what the manufacturer states here. Don’t blame the messenger…. ;-)

    Also, we only introduced this string in more recent versions of our apps, so you still won’t always see it.

  • version: This is the API version that the client is using. All versions of our app pass this, but we were a bit sloppy in the past, so we were passing app version rather than API version. You’ll see strings like “ip2.1” (iPhone 2.1) and “2.0.2”. In the latest versions, all apps pass the actual API version, so you’ll see “3.0”, “3.1” and “3.5” both for Android and iPhone apps.

Make sure you understand the new API params and start using them! Let us know if you have any questions.

>> Visit the wiki page to see the technical details of these changes.


Email this article

Verizon uses Layar’s Augmented Reality to promote Droid phones

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald May 14, 2010

Augmented reality is getting good promotion with Verizon using Layar to promote its latest Droid phones in their TV commercials. We are loving it. Thanks Verizon!


Email this article

Developers announcement: All publishers can publish paid layers now

maurice groenhart May 14, 2010

Today we have opened up the Layar Payment Platform to all publishers. From now on all publishers are able to create priced Augmented Reality Experiences. The Layar Payment Platform was launched two weeks ago and facilitates payments between the end-user and the publisher, so the publisher can focus on his core activity: creating valuable Aumented Reality experiences.

So far, paid layers can only be purchased by residents of the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. More countries, currencies, payment methods will be added in the near future.

>> Visit our wiki to learn more about publishing your content as a paid layer.


Email this article
We request not to sign up and further make payments for Layar services. Please proceed to use Blippbuilder to create AR experiences.
We use cookies to improve our services. Don’t worry, they don’t store personal or sensitive information and you can disable them at any time in your browser settings.