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Introducing: The Layar Creator

Chris Cameron June 5, 2012

Read our full press release here!

Many months of hard work have finally brought us to this moment, so today we here at Layar are beyond excited to finally introduce to you … the Layar Creator.

If you’ve followed our recent activity, you already know that we’ve partnered time and again with magazine and newspaper publishers to help enhance the static pages of their publications with digital content. We aided publishers by offering to produce these layers ourselves, but what you may not have known is that some of our more recent projects have been built completely by the publishers themselves.

The last two issues of LINDA. Magazine, including the L’HOMO issue, all enhanced with dozens of buttons? They did that. The vtwonen magalogue with all of its “Buy” buttons? They did it all themselves as well. The same goes for the latest Eppo comic from Senefelder, the VPRO Gids, the NRC.next newspaper and more.

So how did they manage to build augmented reality layers and make their print interactive without any external development assistance? The answer, simply, is the Layar Creator.

Check out some screenshots of the Creator! Click the thumbnails to view larger photos.

The Layar Creator is a self-service web application for activating print pages with digital AR content. Now anyone can upload images or PDFs, drag-and-drop any of a number of digital buttons onto the pages and publish them on the Layar platform - all in a matter of seconds. No fancy code work needed, no developers. Absolutely anybody can do it.

There’s no software to install, and the Layar Creator’s intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to start activating pages right away. The Layar Creator takes advantage of Layar Vision technology, recognizing existing images from the pages of magazines and newspapers without the need for special markers like QR codes.

How to use the Layar Creator:

“I loved how simple it was to use the Layar Creator with our magazine,” says Monique van Beekhoven, web editor for Sanoma Media’s vtwonen magazine. Using their smartphones, readers could instantly order items in the magazine by tapping “Buy” buttons placed on the pages with the Layar Creator by Monique herself. “I really believe that anyone can do it!”

As we explained in our whitepaper on the subject a few weeks ago, early interactive print campaigns with the Layar Creator have already shown promising results. Roughly 1% of readers who discover activated pages are converted from print to digital by using Layar to interact with the pages. And on average, 20% of all digital content displayed in print through Layar is clicked by the viewer.

Having seen these results, several publishers have already signed on to incorporate the Layar Creator into their publishing process going forward. And with such a low barrier to entry, who can blame them?

“At every editorial meeting, we discuss what will be in the printed magazine and how we can connect that content with Layar,” says Jildou van der Bijl, editor-in-chief of LINDA. Magazine, which has already published three issues with pages activated using the Layar Creator.

Today, anyone can get started using the Layar Creator and all of its features for free. Starting August 1st, pricing for top level features will kick in, but for now, anything you create before then will never be charged. A free, ad-supported tier for the Creator will remain as well.

So, please, be our guest! Give the Layar Creator a try and tell us what you think! We hope you’re as excited as we are.

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16 comments

  1. Boris

    Congratulations! Interesting pivot. With magazines looking for new ways to monetize this might be a step in the right direction.

  2. Raimo

    Boris,

    Thanks. Yes we are also very excited about this route. We really developed this together with publishers. They love it!!

  3. Jeff Bach

    Looks like a great idea!

  4. Jason McElweenie

    I am trying out your product. It seems pretty fantastic except there is one HUGE piece missing. I've created a campaign, added images, added youtube videos and hit publish. Now, the next step baffles me, do you handle physical publishing? Is there something I need to tell my publisher? Any help would be great

  5. Jason McElweenie

    Never mind I figured it out

  6. Thorsten Giessegi

    Congratulations! This is a real milestone in the publishing business.
    A while ago I thought about a solution like this.
    Your web-based solution Layer Creator offers an easy way to add a "more value" to the so called "old media" print products. Anyway, it seems there are a few things not working right now. I can't get the "Email" buttons to work. This needs some reworking? Where to fill in the "target" email adress ? Maybe in the "body" field? Who knows?

    What about those custom-buttons? I can say what function they should have, but where to fill in the URL or descripton text? At the moment these "buttons" just seem to be "image layers" without anything attached to them.

    How about a personal library for your self created buttons which you can share for all your projects under construction or the option to bind them to only one project.

    Is it possible to use Layout Creator as a "base" / framework for own web-based soltions ?

    Keep on the great work !!!

  7. Frank N

    Great tool!
    Two things that did not work for me.
    - The E-Mail button don't work in the app
    - Video's don't play in Augmented Reality, it open in a native full screen video player.

  8. xuan

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for letting us know the issues.
    1. We are aware of that the email button does not work in iPhone client. We are looking into it and hopefully it can be fixed very soon.
    2. AR videos are supported in certain type of devices. In general, only devices with dual-core processor can run AR video. The Android devices that we have tested are Google Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II, LG Optimus, HTC One X. AR video was also tested on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 with iOS v5.0 and above.

  9. xuan

    Hi Thorsten,

    Firstly, we are aware of the email button issue on iPhone. Currently the email button is designed to be used as a sharing tool with other people. This is why there is no "target" email address. However, our product team is aware of the need for users to provide feedback.

    Regarding the custom buttons, you need to firstly upload the image to the library and then define the details there.

    Please note that we have a support system (http://devsupport.layar.com/forums) where you can find all the resources about the Layar Creator and ask questions there as well.

  10. Jason McElweenie

    Great stuff! I'm loving this so far. I can't wait to use the custom button functions and open that world of possibilities.

    The future is here!

  11. Devo

    I hit the same roadblock as the visitor above wrote: "I am trying out your product. It seems pretty fantastic except there is one HUGE piece missing. I've created a campaign, added images, added youtube videos and hit publish. Now, the next step baffles me, do you handle physical publishing? Is there something I need to tell my publisher? Not quite understanding how the digital content is activated - I held the iPhone over the page but nothing at all occured.
    Thanks.

  12. Devo

    Additionally: I did download the Layar app on my iPhone - and looked at the page through the Layar "browser" but no success. Does the location of the phone need to be turned on in preferences? I admire the clean and streamlined design of your site, and your easy as 1-2-3 videos but apparently you need to just put a few more details online for newbies to understand!

  13. eisema

    I love the idea and want to enhance a document with layar. I did all the stuff in the how-to video, but nothing happens?!? No video appears...
    How long does it take for a layar to be effective?
    Does it also work when you scan a pdf from a laptop screen?

  14. chris klein

    Congratulations! Your product is fantastic and wil change the publishing world ! I´m from Brazil and also work with the biggest publishers in Brazil I would like to know if you would be interested on having a Layar´s distribuitor in Brazil?
    Thanks a lot , Chris

  15. chris klein

    please contact me cris@lak@hotmail.com

  16. Seth

    Well done! This is truly an amazing tool. Thank you for making this available.

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