LOGIN
Log in to manage your account
Or Log in with

Blog: ARspiration

Democratizing Space for Public Good

Chris Cameron May 16, 2011

If you’ve been keeping up with us here at Layar, you probably know that one of the core visions we have been discussing is space.



Space is an opportunity, as we see it. Layar co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald recently explained how Layar hopes to “democratize” space in his interview with UNTETHER.tv. Layar strategist and evangelist Gene Becker also recently shared his thoughts about how augmented reality is creating new perspectives on public space.



“When you look at who the true AR enthusiasts are, who is doing the cutting edge creative work in AR today, itÌs artists, activists and digital humanities geeks. Their projects explore and challenge the ideas of ownership and exclusivity of physical space, and the flowing irreversibility of time. They are starting to see AR as the emergence of a new construction of reality, where the physical and digital are no longer distinct but instead are irreversibly blended.” - Gene Becker



This vision takes inspiration from the use of public space by activists, street artists and other groups that take advantage of public space to share their ideas and encourage discussion.



One such artist, Candy Chang, was recently interviewed by Juxtapoz magazine, which covers art and culture. The article has circulated around the Layar office today as a bit of Friday inspiration, so we thought we’d share some highlights here on the blog.



Chang discusses what drives her and inspires her to create some of her well known public art pieces, such as the “Before I Die” wall and the “I Wish This Was” sticker project.





“Before I Die” is a chalkboard-painted wall she constructed on the side of an abandoned building that encourages anyone to write down what they want to do before they died. The sticker project encouraged people to share what they wished various vacant storefronts would become.



“There’s little dialogue between the people who live and work in a neighborhood and the local businesses that open. What if there was? How can residents influence the types of stores and services that enter their neighborhood?” - Candy Chang



Many of the ideas and principals of the democratization of space which we espouse at Layar are shared by Chang. “I’m also more and more insterested in redefining the ways we share information in public space to improve our personal well-being,” she says. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.”



“What if we could find out what all our neighbors pay in rent? What if we could say what businesses we want in these vacant storefronts? What if we could learn about people’s experiences and stories with particular buildings? What if we could use public space to share and learn what matters most to the people around us?” - Candy Chang





Be sure to check out Candy’s interview in Juxtapoz as it serves as a strong indicator of our inspiration and vision at Layar today!

Read 4 comments, or add a comment Permalink www.layar.com/news/blog/280/

Email this article
 

YouTube Goodness: Week 1 – The Eyes of Blade Runner

Rhymo May 13, 2011

It’s Friday again, so to kick off the weekend right we’re starting a new tradition here on the Layar blog.



On Fridays we are going to share videos that are inspiring us. We kick this off with some clips of Blade Runner, the classic Sci-Fi thriller. In the movie there are many references to eyes. Eyes are associated with The Real and The False (or not so real). Fascinating subject for a Friday afternoon discussion, don’t you think?





Let us know what you think. Why do you think eyes are such an important part of the movie? Leave a comment below, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.



Now on to the videos for this week. One of the clips below features Rachel - one of the women we love at Layar. We even named a project after her! ;-)



Enjoy the show after the jump, and check back in the weeks to come for more!



How do you like our owl?



I have seen things.



Popping eyes (viewer discretion advised).



If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes.



The Eye in the opening scene.



Voight Kampff test with Leon.

Read 2 comments, or add a comment Permalink www.layar.com/news/blog/279/

Email this article
 

On Augmenting Live Events

Chris Cameron May 12, 2011

Yesterday on the Layar Twitter account, we tweeted a link to a story on FastCompany about a new product called CrowdOptic and how augmented reality may “transform live events“.



CrowdOptic has raised some money to develop it’s unique concept that I think The Unofficial Apple Weblog describes well:



“Once the CrowdOptic system is installed at a concert or sports venue, the magic happens through triangulation. At least two people need to be pointing their iPhones at the same thing, at the same time, and the GPS location, compass direction and time of day will be used to figure out the most likely image being viewed and display information on exactly that. The accuracy is dependent upon how many people are looking at the same thing.”



A unique approach, indeed, but I was simply happy to see technology moving in this general direction.



As a sports fan, I’ve always thought augmented reality could work wonders on live sports and other events, but there are many challenges here. From my experience, phones are at times rendered useless in stadiums. More arenas are providing free wifi (whose bandwidth can get clogged) but others force phone-toting fans to rely on cell networks (which also get overloaded).



For live events to be augmented, a solution to connectivity problem is needed. Granted, not every venue suffers this problem, and smaller events could likely get around it. And it’s probably not even as widespread an issue as I may think. Regardless, solutions will come in time, just as the technology to provide more immersive experiences at live events will mature.



And as it does, just imagine the possibilities.



An example I’ve always loved is this video, which explores the possibility of a virtual offsides line during a football match. Simply hold up your phone and the line follows the further man back, turning green or red if the man is onside or not.



What if all the visual information available to TV viewers watching sports at home could appear before your eyes from your seat in the stadium, arena, gymnasium or ballpark? See that infamous yellow first-down line during a football game, or perhaps a projection of where a batter is most likely to hit the next pitch based on his past at-bats. Or see where the olympian in the swim meet or 500 meter dash is stacking up when compared to a world record holder.



If the massive display screens being erected at stadiums around the world say anything, it’s that team owners believe in-game entertainment is growing increasingly more important to fan retention.



As stadiums and sports leagues try to find ways to keep fans coming to see the events live rather than lounge comfortably on their big sofas in the air conditioned homes with 52” flatscreen TVs on the walls, perhaps it is augmented reality that will help usher the fans to their seats.



Image from CrowdOptic.

Read 2 comments, or add a comment Permalink www.layar.com/news/blog/278/

Email this article
 

Come Out to LAYAR DAY L.A. May 20th

Chris Cameron May 10, 2011

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we’ve got a special event coming up that we hope you’ll join us for!



On Friday May 20th, we will be hosting LAYAR DAY L.A. - a full day of hacking space and time with augmented reality. Join us as we seek inspiration from visionary thinkers and from street-level artists, and help us make some cool AR!



Meet the Layar team at 10:45am at the Geffen Contemporary for an informal visit to the Art in the Streets exhibition of street art. MOCA opens at 11am and admission is $10 at the door.



From 1:30-3:00pm, we move to the Arts Center College of Design where artist Sander Veenhof and Layar’s Gene Becker will lead a hands-on workshop for artists, designers and enthusiasts who want to learn to make augmented reality experiences on the Layar platform. We’ll use street art, public AR art exhibitions and historical layers as examples of hacking space and time.



Following the workshop, join us from 3:00-6:00pm for an afternoon with some of the most visionary and creative minds in augmented reality. We have an incredible lineup of speakers including noted author Bruce Sterling, Layar co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, Scott Fisher of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Dutch artist Sander Veenhof.

The LAYAR DAY L.A. workshop and symposium is hosted by Art Center College of Design, and will be held in the Faculty Dining Room at ACCD’s Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida St., Pasadena, CA. The informal tour of Art in the Streets will meet at 10:45am at the Geffen Contemporary.



Space is limited so visit this page to reserve your place at either the workshop or symposium.

Add a commentPermalink www.layar.com/news/blog/277/

Email this article
 

VIDEO: Augmented Reality Thursday - May 5th

Chris Cameron May 6, 2011

Yesterday was many things.



In the Netherlands it was Liberation Day - the celebration of the day which ended the Nazi occupation of Holland near the end of World War II - and in U.S. it was Cinco de Mayo (5th of May), which celebrates Mexican/American culture. But most importantly, yesterday was Thursday (which means today it is Friday - sorry, couldn’t resist), but not just any Thursday. Augmented Reality Thursday.



On the first Thursday of each month, we invite AR enthusiasts to gather at Layar HQ for lively discussions fueled by snack foods and Heineken. This month we had Fred van Rijswijk from C2K - a Layar Partner Network member - to talk about the latest iteration of the popular Layar-based multiplayer game Conquar.



If you couldn’t make it out last night, have no fear, just check out the video below from last night’s ART!



Read 1 comment, or add a comment Permalink www.layar.com/news/blog/275/

Email this article