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Layar Enters in Partnership With Telefonica I+D For Visual Search Technology

Adriane Goetz September 20, 2011

Hot off the newswire:

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – September 20th, 2011 - Layar, the largest open platform for mobile augmented reality (AR), today announced they entered into a strategic partnership with Telefonica I+D for providing them with their market leading Visual Search Technology: IRIS. Visual Search enables Layar to search through millions of images to identify these images and correctly augment them on the mobile phone resulting in a more intuitive user experience.

Visual Search is a key component in the delivery of vision based Augmented Reality services to end-users. It makes it possible for real world objects to work as identifiers and/or hyperlinks for augmented reality experiences. Layar is adding IRIS Visual Search capability to their Layar Reality Browser, making it significantly easier for users to discover relevant Augmented Reality content.

The goal of Telefonica’s IRIS project is to develop a service that provides information related to an object just by taking a picture of it. The object needs no special packaging, tag or marker. For this objective, Telefónica I+D has developed and patented proprietary visual recognition technology. This technology enables the identification of objects such as supermarket products, logos, posters, or paintings among others. The collaboration of this project with Layar is framed within the Open Innovation initiative of Telefónica I+D.

David Marimon – Initiative Leader at Telefonica I+D: “When we started our collaboration, we immediately saw the synergy that we were building. Our visual recognition engine is a ground breaking technology delivered to users. Empowering Layar with this technology was a natural step.”

Dirk Groten - CTO Layar: 

“Implementing Layar Vision, we immediately envisioned a solution encompassing both aspects of visual object recognition: on the one hand, a client-side technology that recognizes and tracks images instantaneously based on their feature set (fingerprint), but it’s limited to a few dozen images due to memory and processing power constraints. This we developed in-house. 

On the other hand, visual search technology, which is cloud-based and allows the client to recognize a specific image amongst millions of others. Iris is perfect at solving this problem. We’ve partnered with Telefonica I+D, hosting their IRIS Visual Search technology in the cloud allowing us to scale both in terms of search traffic as well as in the number of reference images.”

About Layar

Layar is the world’s leading mobile augmented reality platform with 10 million installs, 10,000 developers and the largest content catalogue with over 2,500 layers. Layar brings impactful augmented reality experiences into people’s everyday lives. The Layar application is available on Android, iPhone, Symbian, Bada and Blackberry devices, comes globally pre-installed on millions of phones and is promoted by leading handset manufacturers and mobile providers like Samsung, Verizon and Sprint.

Layar was named as a 2011 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a Disruptive Innovator at the 2010 Deloitte Fast50 awards, and received a Meffy Mobile Entertainment Award 2010 for Technology Innovation.

Layar is located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The company was founded in June 2009.

To learn more about Layar, please visit

About Telefonica

Telefónica is one of the world’s largest telecommunications network operators by market capitalisation and number of customers. It centres its activities mainly on the fixed and mobile telephony businesses, while its broadband business is the key growth driver underpinning both.

It operates in 25 countries and its customer base exceeds 295 million globally. Telefónica has a strong foothold in Spain, Europe and Latin America, the latter region being the lynchpin of its growth strategy.

Telefónica is a 100% private company with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital consists of 4,563,996,485 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish stock exchanges (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia), as well as on the London, Tokyo, New York, Lima, Buenos Aires and São Paulo stock exchanges.

Telefonica I+D is the research and development company of the Telefónica Group. It runs a complete open innovation framework organised around a network of innovation centres in Spain, Brazil and UK. It contributes to the Telefónica´s competitiveness through technological innovation in areas like networks, security, M2M, cloud, video, eHealth, communication services and platforms, user modelling & financial services. Additional information can be found at @telefonicaid &

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