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Maza Packaging Shows Versatility of Interactive Print

Chris Cameron January 30, 2013

Often here on the blog we share examples from magazines, newspapers and other print products that bring their pages alive with interactive print. But interactive print goes beyond just “print” in the traditional sense.

Maza, makers of mediterranean delicacies like falafel and houmous, are the latest in a growing group of brands using Layar to enhance the packaging of its products. And what’s even more impressive is that the do-it-yourself nature of the Layar Creator allowed Maza to quickly create a really terrific user experience all on their own.

By scanning the packaging of Maza’s products, customers can get links to recipes built around specifically around those items. As you can see from the photos below (click to see larger versions), Maza produced a great looking, unique campaign for its customers without any development work needed.


We caught up with Maza’s Roberto Oberegger, who put the campaign together, to get a closer look at how Maza used Layar to bring interactivity to its product packaging.

How did your hear of Layar, and how did you decide to use it on your products?
I think I read about Layar long ago and then I saw some advertisements. We started using the Layar App on some of our own advertisements because we have a lot to explain about our products (especially in the Dutch market) and what is possible to do with them. When we started to redesign our packaging, Layar was part of it from the very start.

What inspired this campaign?
We wanted to be among the first in the food industry to use Layar on packaging. We also wanted to add some more info to our products that we can change every season or every month.

What are the challenges for interactive packaging?
I think the majority of smartphone or tablet users don’t think about a houmous cup being “Layared,” but we are still convinced that this is the future of on-package communication.

Interactive print continues to grow in popularity and it’s incredible to see these kinds of campaigns - campaigns which would have previously required weeks of planning and AR development - quickly launched with ease. It’s a testament to the ease and versatility of the Layar Creator.

As for Maza, the company says it will be enhancing all of their product packaging with Layar going forward.


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Making the Layar App Faster

Chris Cameron January 25, 2013

If you’re a frequent user of Layar, you may have noticed some improvements to the speed of the app lately. From the end user’s perspective, speed is one of the top priorities for having a positive experience when viewing things like interactive print.

No one wants to sit around waiting for data to load, and that’s why we’ve recently taken steps to improve the speed of the information we send to your mobile device when you scan interactive print content.

When Layar launched, there was no way that our trio of co-founders could have foreseen where the app would grow to in just a few quick years. The Layar App has been downloaded 28 million times all over the globe, so it makes sense that our data be global as well.

Previously, no matter where you were, scanning interactive print content meant transferring data to and from our main servers in Europe. But now, thanks to the wonders of the cloud (Amazon CloudFront to be specific), we can spread multiple “nodes” out across the world closer to our users, increasing efficiency and speed.

There are close to 40 nodes in all, located in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Now, no matter where you are on Earth, chances are you are a lot closer to the data you want than you were before.

It’s faster, it’s more efficient, and it’s all part of how we’re dedicated to providing the best interactive print experience for our users.


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Layar Partners with U.S. Publisher Fry Communications

Chris Cameron January 24, 2013

Great news! Fry Communications, one of the largest and oldest publishers in the United States, announced today that it has chosen Layar as its augmented reality and interactive print platform of choice. Fry will offer Layar to its customers looking to add interactivity to print products.

We are thrilled to be working with one of the most respected names in publishing. As the world’s leading augmented reality and interactive print provider, we are excited to team up with Fry and bring interactive print to even more publications and readers in 2013 and beyond.

As augmented reality and interactive print are helping the print industry increase value for readers and advertisers, we’re increasingly seeing more publications and publishers align with Layar as their provider of choice. In the end, Layar’s stability, strong product offering and pricing is attracting the industries biggest names.

“We chose Layar because it provides the best user experience with the most robust technology, as well as a transparent pricing structure that publishers and marketeers can trust,” said David Fry, Chief Technology Officer at Fry. “Layar is absolutely focused on leveraging the lasting business value of the augmented reality technology for printers and publishers.”

Fry Communications isn’t the first big printer to team up with Layar. Last year, Senefelder Misset, one of the top Dutch printers, similarly partnered with Layar to offer augmented reality and interactivity to its publications. Printers love Layar because it increases reader engagement, positions the printer as an innovative market player and generates new revenue and e-commerce opportunities.

Fry joins a growing list of printers and publishers signing on with Layar, and there’s more to come! To learn more about the partnership, check out Fry’s press release here.


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Top Interior Design Mag Frame Enhanced with Layar

Chris Cameron January 23, 2013

Frame Magazine, the world’s leading interior design publication with a circulation across 77 countries, has enhanced the artistic pages of its most recent issue with interactive print from Layar.

As the “go-to reference for designers and interior architects,” Frame Magazine continually impresses its readers with not only its content, but with how it presents that content. Special paper, inks and embossed graphics are common to Frame, but now, with Layar, Frame has taken presenting its content to a whole new level.

Readers can “enjoy an even more exciting tour through the world of design,” as editor in chief Robert Thiemann writes in the January/February issue. Readers can view additional photos, watch videos, join discussions on Facebook, buy items and more.

Scanning the cover lets readers watch the cover morph between several other possible covers, with various colors and images. Inside the magazine, scanning pages about an interactive digital installation in Paris lets readers experience that very installation’s “luminous textile panels.” It’s really a sight to behold.

We recently caught up with Thiemann to get the low down on Frame’s most recent issue and the process of implementing Layar. 

How did you hear of Layar?

“One of my colleagues came across Layar while reading a Dutch magazine. She was impressed with the extra digital content provided through the use of the Layar App. She then went to a Layar seminar in July, 2012, to find out more. Her report brimmed with enthusiasm, so we decided to give Layar a go in September.”

What makes Frame’s readers a good audience for interactive print?

“Frame has an image-savvy readership of early adopters, so we thought they might be interested in Layar. Frame magazine historically surprises its audience in many ways: from ever-changing graphics to special paper stocks and cover finishes. We thought Layar would offer yet another way to surprise our readership by letting them experience a connection between offline and online content.”

How was the experience of using the Layar Creator?

“Getting to work with the Layar Creator proved to be very easy. Uploading content and putting buttons on our pages both were a piece of cake. We had more difficulties deciding what exactly to do with Layar and finding extra content for it. We found out that we had to change our way of working by starting to integrate Layar in the editorial process.”

Any plans for the future?

“We will continue working with Layar for the rest of the year and evaluate the results at the end of 2013. If the app has proven to be successful – which I consider it to be when we will have more than 1000 active users – we’ll not only work with it in Frame magazine, but also in its sibling publications Mark and Elephant magazines. 

What’s more, we have already seduced one advertiser to use Layar in their Frame ad and will of course try to get more companies interested. Another challenge will be to not only include video footage, but also other digital content. The real aim is to increase interaction between the magazines and their readership.”


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Layar SDK Joins Our Interactive Print Product Family

Chris Cameron January 15, 2013

The all new Layar SDK - a toolkit for embedding Layar’s interactive print technology into your own app - joins the Layar App, the Layar Creator, the Layar App Service and the Layar Development Platform to round out our interactive print product family.

Just as the Layar App Service gave brands a white-label solution for interactive print apps, the Layar SDK lets you embed the easy-to-use and robust Layar technology into your very own iOS or Android app. Provide the engagement of interactive print within the context of your brand identity while building and launching the apps all on your own.

Target your audience and installed base with your interactive print content by linking your app to your print products. Now retailers can link the products in their catalog to those in their online stores, magazine and newspaper publishers can treat readers to exclusive digital content in their app, and so much more.

So how does it work? After you design and build your brand’s app (or if you already have one) just create an interactive print campaign with the Layar Creator or the Layar API, hook the Layar SDK into your app to connect it with your campaign, and publish the app!

Interested in the Layar SDK? Fill out this form and leave us your contact details and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible. You can try out the SDK for 30 days free of charge, after which a fee of $3,250 (€2,500) per app, per year is required for continued use.

Learn more about the Layar SDK here, or dive into the technical documentation to learn the ins and outs.


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