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Add AR to Your App with Our Mobile Augmented Reality Development Kit

Chris Cameron October 21, 2015

There’s been a bit of turbulence in the Augmented Reality (AR) space lately with Metaio being acquired by Apple and Qualcomm selling its Vuforia business. Customers are understandably worried about the future of the AR market.

Here at Layar, since joining forces with Blippar in 2014, we’ve been able to continually provide top-quality, stable services and solutions. One of the key areas we’re very dedicated to is our Augmented Reality software development kit, the Layar SDK. We’re very proud to say that Layar SDK will continue to be a very important product for us going forward.

With the Layar SDK, you can quickly and easily embed our Augmented Reality technology into your existing mobile app, giving you the ability to create a custom AR experience for your users within your app.

House of Fraser, one the U.K.’s largest premium department store chains, recently integrated the Layar SDK into its apps to offer customers a unique mobile shopping experience with AR. In creating what he called an “experience that transcends the mobile web,” CCO Andy Hardin praised the Layar SDK, which the company was able to integrate “quickly and seamlessly.”

The Layar SDK is a powerful tool for mobile Augmented Reality development. With it you can embed your own AR content in your app, whether it be scannable “Vision” AR, or location-based “Geo” AR. You can even use our PhoneGap plugin to seamlessly integrate the Layar SDK into your app development workflow.

Layar has many solutions to fit your needs, and the Layar SDK is just one of them. You can learn more about our AR technology solutions here, or download and share this handy one-page PDF.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/587

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Partner Spotlight: Digital Narrative

Chris Cameron March 17, 2015

If you’ve noticed all of the Augmented Reality and Layar activity coming out of South Africa over the last year or so, you can probably thank one of our Layar Partner Network members, Digital Narrative.

2014 was busy year for Digital Narrative, as the creative agency helped several brands and publishers add Interactive Print to their marketing strategies. This includes a travel contest with vida e caffè, and several issues of Food & Home Entertaining from Caxton Magazines.

Both were widely successful campaigns, and in 2015, the agency doesn’t show signs of slowing. Here’s a look at what Digital Narrative already has cooking this year.

Sea-Change Exhibition
The Sea-Change Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa, is a multimedia project that tells the story of the birth of humanity and the ancient relationship we all have with the sea. Displaying large format photographs along the sea wall on the promenade, a selection of these panels are transformed into high-definition videos through Augmented Reality when scanned with the Layar App.

Online retailer and exhibit sponsor Pick n Pay also invited the exhibit to participate in their Cape Town Cycle Tour expo stand earlier this month. A selection of the panels were on display where staff with iPads showed off the interactive AR videos to the public, helping to generate over 5,000 views in 3 days.

“I have been amazed at the power of AR (and specifically the LAYAR app) to add an exciting new dimension to our exhibition,” said Ross Frylinck, co-director of the Sea-Change Foundation. “It’s a very easy app to use and the feedback from the public has been really positive. To see our photographs come to life in HD video has been very rewarding.”

Interactive Wall at IAB Summit
Digital Narrative also created another type of “wall” exhibit, this time at the recently held IAB Summit. The concept was a large 4m x 5m Pinterest board-style wall, and each item could be scanned with Layar to reveal the exciting possibilities of Augmented Reality.

“Layar’s Augmented Reality is a QR Code on steroids! No wait, even a great QR Code is still a QR Code and Layar is a whole new ball game,” said one attendee. “Watching a wall, a document or even a business card come to life in front of you is mind altering.”

MINI 5 Door
And finally, Digital Narrative was recently employed to help showcase some of the new features of the MINI 5 Door at The Design Indaba expo in Cape Town. Users could scan displays and parts of the car to hear the engine sounds on specially provided headphones, watch the latest television commercial, view a 360º panorama of the car or enter a contest to win an iPad Mini.

“The augmented reality on the MINI Design Indaba expo stand was great! It helped communicate the essence of the stand by taking the 5 senses to the next level,” said Carmen Slade, Marketing Manager MINI. “This tie into the MINI 5 Door hatch on the expo floor was a great brand fit and one enjoyed by all who interacted with it.”

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/575

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Layar SDK Now More Customizable Than Ever!

Chris Cameron March 2, 2015

At Layar we’re proud to help bring Augmented Reality to the masses by making it quick and easy to create a unique interactive experience, but we also know it’s important for brands to maintain their identity. That’s why we have the Layar SDK, which allows anyone to embed the awesome power of the Layar App into their own iOS and Android apps - and today, this tool got a big upgrade!

The newly updated Layar SDK is now even more powerful, and even more customizable with a bunch of new options to craft your own unique AR app experience. We’ve listened to loads of feedback from SDK users and those interested in using it to help us implement some of the most sought-after features from an AR app SDK. Here’s a rundown of what’s new.

Even More Custom Interface Options
Now you can completely disable the Layar UI and create your own interface that matches your style and goals. We’ve also made it possible to add new features like a Screenshot button, and you can choose to hide or show other features like loading indicators, the audio player bar and the replay button at the end of AR videos.

More Control of Pop Out Behavior
By far one of our most requested features, you now have much more control over how the Pop Out feature behaves. You can choose whether the Pop Out view is 2D or 3D, whether the reference image is shown or hidden and you can allow content to automatically reattach to the reference image when tracking resumes. Check out this video example to see what we’re talking about.

Infinitely Looping Video
Your AR videos don’t have to end with a replay button. Instead you now have the option to allow them to loop infinitely.

Enhanced Workflow Plugins
We’ve created a plugin for the popular PhoneGap open source app development framework, making it easy to add the Layar SDK to your workflow. Check out our PhoneGap tutorial for help using the plugin. And for Android SDK users, we’ve also added support for Android Studio to make the SDK easier to use.

Interested in using the Layar SDK to make your very own Augmented Reality app? Learn more here and get your hands on the SDK for free right now!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/574

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Get 2 Free Pro Pages by Taking Our Survey

Chris Cameron February 24, 2015

You may have noticed a few changes to the Creator lately, and we’re eager to know what you think!

So eager, in fact, that we’re offering 2 free Pro Pages to any Creator user that completes our Creator User Survey.

The purpose of the survey is to learn a little bit more about you, our customers, so that we can better provide solutions that meet your needs. By providing some background information, we will compensate your time with 2 free Pro Page credits to use in the Layar Creator.

At the end of the survey, be sure to enter your Creator username and email address so we can deliver your free pages. Also make sure you answer each question as best you can to be eligible for the free pages as incomplete answers will not be considered.

Thanks for your time!

Take the survey.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/572

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Partner Spotlight: Magnetic London

Chris Cameron January 14, 2015

London-based design and communications agency Magnetic London, a member of the Layar Partner Network, has seen a recent flurry of activity with Augmented Reality. The agency has helped numerous companies from various parts of the world discover how Layar can help bring print and digital together, so here’s an overview of some of their most recent projects.

Khan Academy Turkce
Working together with STFA Holding, one of the largest Turkish conglomerates, and its corporate social responsibility project Khan Academy Turkce, Magnetic London created the first book cover with AR in Turkey. Together they added interactive AR content to the recently published Turkish translation of Salman Khan’s education reform manifesto, “The One World Schoolhouse.”

Scanning the cover with the Layar App reveals videos about the academy in Turkish, as well as links to the Khan Academy Turkce website and social media pages. Magnetic London designed custom calls-to-action which were printed on the inside jacket flaps of the book.

“Readers who downloaded the app and scanned the cover were impressed with how easy it was to use the app,” said Kaan Aydogmus, Creative Director of Magnetic London. “They said such an innovative technology fits very well with this book of Salman Khan. Readers were excited about the AR technology and curious about how it could be used in other areas.”

New Economics Foundation
Magnetic London also recently worked with the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the UK’s leading think tank for promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Together they produced interactive Community Currencies in Action flyers to excite policy makers and academics about local currencies with Augmented Reality.

“The interactive element serves as a great talking point to start up conversations with people we want to collaborate with,” the NEF said. “We are glad we used AR. It takes some explaining to get people to download the app, but this can serve as a useful way to get people to really look at the flyer.”

British Tech Summit
The agency also recently attended the one-day British Tech Summit in Istanbul, which convenes high profile British and Turkish technology and telecom businesses. Magnetic London had it’s own stand at the event to showcase its business, and even Blippar founder and CEO Ambarish Mitra showed up to say hello!

“People were queueing in front of our augmented exhibition stands to experience this technology with our Discover London in 360 campaign,” said Aydogmus. “We had three panoramic photo spheres of Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and St.Paul’s Cathedral. People who scanned our stands were taken into these spheres where they had to move and turn around themselves with their phones in the air to look up and down to discover those places. We had the most attention at the event.”

BakuTel
Magnetic London even made a trip to Baku, Azerbaijan to participate in the BakuTel exhibition, one of the largest design, technology and telecommunications expos in the region. The agency was excited to show off Layar’s Augmented Reality technology to many of the event’s high-profile attendees, and even made the evening news.

“We had a chance to present all of our design services including Augmented Reality to the President of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, to the British Ambassador Mr. Irfan Siddiq, and the UK’s Trade Envoy Mr. Charles Hendry,” said Aydogmus. “The president experienced Augmented Reality himself, and he was amazed with it.”

AR in Travel and Hospitality
And finally, similar to our own series of webinars and overview documents, Magnetic London has been creating animated slideshow videos detailing the benefits of Augmented Reality for specific industries. The latest animation is about the Travel and Hospitality Business, we’ve embedded it below!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/567

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