|Outside view of the Layar Augmented Office.|
As we mentioned last week, Layar is attending the 2011 GSMA Mobile World Congress conference/exhibition in Barcelona from 14-17 February, and we weren’t about to show up empty-handed.
Each afternoon at MWC Fountain, Layer is holding an Augmented Reality meetup where we show off our new Augmented Office layer, an interactive 3D model that you can literally walk into and access information about the company, layer content, job openings and more.
This layer was created especially for MWC, so it is only visible from Barcelona, but there is also a public version that can be viewed from anywhere in the world.
The 3D office combines elements of virtual reality with AR, enabling a 360 degree view of the space. You can look up at the multilevel ceiling, down at the tile and wooden floors, and around through the many windows where you can still see the “real” world.
Turn or walk around in the office and you see posters on the walls of some of our Layar Partner Network members, where you can touch the pop-up screen to visit their website, email them or follow them on Twitter. You also find portraits of our co-founders and our reps at MWC that you can contact or connect with on Twitter right from the layer.
|Inside view of the Layar Augmented Office.|
Continuing the office tour, you see posters on the windows for five of our coolest international layers that you can launch directly from inside the Augmented Office layer (A layer within a layer? Now we’re approaching Inception theory—be careful!).
Finally, near the doorway, you see a monitor on the wall that says “Layar News & Jobs” where you can see the current job/internship opportunities and read the latest news on our blog.
The concept of an “augmented office” allows any company to become an international company. You can place an office in the heart of Tokyo, Dubai or at Time Square in New York City.
But just as easily as you can place an office, you can place a store, selling merchandise through Paypal in AR! Case and point: Hostage Wear Shop. Hostage Wear is Layar’s first AR store, selling hats, t-shirts and other urban skate/streetwear products directly from the layer—there’s even a half-pipe in the store! (Although we don’t recommend trying to skateboard in AR… yet).
|Outside view of the Hostage Wear shop.|
Funnily enough, the Hostage Wear Shop layer actually started out as a joke. Herve Pellarin, creator of both Layar’s Augmented Office and Hostage Wear Shop (and the concept of virtual commerce in general), originally made the layer for his best friend to, in Pellarin’s words, “shut his mouth” about the frustration and expense of constantly having to make the tradeshow circuit to gain brand recognition and sell merchandise.
As anyone working in AR knows, monetization is a major issue at the moment, so virtual commerce is an exciting and much welcomed new element to the platform.
Pellarin is the man behind French development company HPSC, a member of the Layar Partner Network. He has made virtual commerce his primary focus, embarking on several new [mostly confidential] projects, and continues to push the boundaries in AR. Pellarin may still wear the coding hat, but assures us “I’m not a programmer. I’m a dreamer; an AR-chitect.”