Dutch “Book Ball” Uses Layar to Help Kick Off Boekenweek

Chris Cameron March 18, 2011

In the age of digital media where smartphones and tablets constantly fill our brains with rich media experiences, it is at times relaxing to escape the information overload with classic technology. Books!

And, boy, do the Dutch know how to show their appreciation for their literature. Starting with the inaugural event in 1932, the Netherlands has hosted Boekenweek, or “Book Week,” each March, with the exception of a few missed years early on. This celebration, which actually lasts 10 days, honors Dutch literature with a wide range of events, including book signings, galas and debates.

Since 1947, the festivities have been kicked off with the Boekenbal, or “Book Ball,” a highly coveted “Who’s Who” event for writers, publishers and famous Dutch people. A tradition among attendees of the Boekenbal is to steal a piece of art at the end of the night, and artists are asked to create works of art specifically for this purpose.

This year, one of the artists asked to contribute was Sander Veenhof, who you know from his augmented reality art projects like the Pentagon/White House Infiltr.AR and the Museum of Modern Art AR Exhibit. Veenhof created a virtual piece of art from the various pieces at the Stadsschouwburg, the venue for the Boekenbal. By using Layar, visitors could see the works and take a virtual piece home with them.

But the most remarkable piece of virtual art on display at the Boekenbal earlier this week was the tribute to the late Harry Mulisch, one of the most famous writers in the Netherlands. For over 50 years, Mulisch was a guest at the Boekenbal, and in recent years would take his place sitting on the staircase of the Stadsschouwburg.

Veenhof brought this memorable sight back to life with augmented reality, allowing the Boekenbal guests to relive their moments with Mulisch. One special guest, the late author’s son, provided an emotional moment as he opened Layar to see his father back in his rightful place on the stairs.


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Feeling Lucky? Find Your St. Paddy’s Day Pot of Gold

Chris Cameron March 17, 2011

Watch out that you don’t get pinched today, because that’s your fate should you fail to adorn yourself with something green. Yes, it’s that time of year again where everyone abandons their differences and unites under a common nationality - the Irish!

St. Patrick’s Day began as a day of feast in honor of Ireland’s favorite patron saint, but now it’s an excuse for everyone to find the Irish in them, wear green, chase leprechauns to the pot of gold and - of course - drink lots of beer. Green beer, especially!

And who are we to get in the way of a good time? So here’s a couple of layers you can use to find your way to a memorable St. Paddy’s (not Patty’s) Day.

Irish Pub - [Launch now!]

If you’re not in Ireland, you’ll need to find a good Irish Pub, and what better way than with the help of Layar? And what better name for this kind of layer than “Irish Pub”? The Irish Pub layer from HPSC has a database of over 1400 authentic Irish pubs, so chances are there’s one in your area. Simply navigate to this layer and you’re on your way to a hearty celebration that will make you think you’ve teleported to Dublin. - [Launch now!]

But maybe you’re the kind who takes this holiday seriously, making a pilgrimage to the land of the Irish. In that case, check out the layer, the “definitive guide to what to do in Ireland,” with news, entertainment venues, eateries, hotels, activities and - wait for it - pubs! Over 3,000 pubs, to be exact! With that many how can you ever choose? Don’t worry, we have faith in you.

With these two layers in your pocket, a good time is inevitable. Enjoy yourselves, be safe, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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VIDEO: Layar 3D Augmented Office

Chris Cameron March 16, 2011

Back in February we told you about the 3D Augmented Office layer - a virtual representation of the Layar office in which you can walk around and explore. We featured the layer at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and attendees at our daily meetups learned about Layar through augmented reality.

If you weren’t at MWC and haven’t had a chance to check out the layer, here’s a look at what it’s all about. Just watch the quick video below to be introduced to the 3D Augmented Office.


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Compatibility Issues with iOS 4.3 [UPDATED]

Chris Cameron March 15, 2011

With the debut of the iPad 2, Apple released iOS 4.3 and unfortunately the update has caused some problems with the Layar client. The update to the iPhone’s operating system and APIs causes some images and icons in Layar to display incorrectly or not at all.

But don’t worry! We are currently working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible!

If you have yet to update to iOS 4.3, we recommend you hold off on the update for a few days if you plan to continue using Layar. An update should be available in the App Store in a day or two, and we’ll update this post when the download is ready.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience. If you have any questions, please email

Keep it here for updates!

UPDATE #1: The fix has been submitted to Apple but is still pending review. You can expect it to be live sometime early next week! Thanks for your patience!

UPDATE #2: The fix is now available in the AppStore! Get it here.


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How to Get Started with Layar Development

Chris Cameron March 11, 2011

While Layar has a rapidly expanding community of developers creating engaging mobile experiences, augmented reality is still a young industry trying to find its place. With that, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for new developers to begin building projects in augmented reality.

Ivo van Barneveld, manager of the Layar Partner Network, compiled a presentation that lays out step-by-step how to sign up as a Layar developer and begin creating your very own AR content.

If you’re a developer and have wanted to branch out to augmented reality, take a look at Ivo’s guide below and get started!


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