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Blog: ARspiration

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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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Maarten on Joe Pine’s Multiverse Framework

Chris Cameron May 3, 2011

If you follow our Twitter feed or if you like us on Facebook (and let’s face it, you should) you may have seen us share a link recently to a video of Joe Pine’s TEDxSanDiego talk.

Pine took the stage to talk about the Multiverse, a three-dimensional framework which provides a unique perspective on space. Pine was actually a key motivator on the vision of Layar’s co-founders Maarten, Raimo and Claire. Here’s what Maarten had to share about Pine’s influence.

Joe Pine was a speaker at Mobile Monday Amsterdam. Twice even. This is where we got to know him and his work. His Multiverse framework is the only theoretical framework that combines the all digital alternatives and combinations with the real world. His theory as well as his previous work on authenticity and the experience economy stand at the core of augmented reality.

Its about seeing everything (authenticity) and experiencing it – not just consuming it – in all dimensions (this is where the multiverse kicks in). His book will come out this fall describing the framework theory in detail.

The TEDx video is the latest and best explanation of the Multiverse – a bridge to describe what will come after what we know today, how we will experience things and how the world looks like after the box of Facebook, of Google and of the Web as a whole. In the next iteration, there is more; we are at a temporary junction today.

Augmented reality will be a big part of this future.

Have a look for yourself at Joe’s presentation.


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