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Introducing: Layar Creative Studio

Arjen de Vries May 20, 2014

This following is from Arjen de Vries, Director of Creative Services at Layar.

Today at Layar, we’re launching a whole new way for brands, advertisers, publishers and agencies to plan, create and execute Augmented Reality and Interactive Print solutions. We call it Layar Creative Studio, but before I get into the details, let me tell you a bit about myself.

My name is Arjen de Vries, and I’m relatively new to the Layar Team as the Director of Creative Services. I’ve previously worked in marketing, communications and advertising at various types of companies, including digital and creative agencies and leading publishers. I have years of experience developing strategies and concepts, as well as brand activation projects, often with strong digital components present.

In the current fragmented media landscape, the consumer has become an active communication recipient and initiator, and we have 24/7 access to information, social relationships and purchases. In order to properly connect with your audience in this new landscape, an approach completely different from that of 10 years ago is needed.

I joined Layar and the exciting world of Augmented Reality because I truly believe that AR has the power to add value to all kinds of businesses and industries, fundamentally changing the way consumers interact with brands in ways unlike anything seen before. Thanks to the growing adoption of smartphones, tablets and technological innovations like Google Glass, AR has quickly grown from something very technical to a basic technology of the masses. The “science fiction” future of AR is becoming more and more real each day.

With AR, it’s possible to instantly activate and engage with your audience. By making the most of the possibilities of their most personal device (camera, GPS, motion sensors, etc.), you can connect with your audience for branding, advertising, marketing and m-commerce purposes.

I joined Layar in March to head up a team dedicated to providing end-to-end service for companies looking to benefit from the possibilities AR has to offer. After a few months of preparation, we’re very proud to introduce the Layar Creative Studio today. The team is based in Amsterdam, but we will likely be expanding it to our offices in the U.S. and Canada soon.

The Layar Creative Studio team is here to help businesses create marketing and advertising solutions based in Augmented Reality to achieve clear objectives. We take the hassles and complications away with end-to-end service, advanced solutions, as well as professional consulting and training to help you get the most out of our tools.

Starting from your needs and objectives, our team of expert strategists, marketers, developers, designers and project managers will work with you to create the best possible AR experience and results. Whether it’s for magazine or newspaper content, print or outdoor advertisements, promotions, packaging or any other marketing and advertising venture – we’ve got you covered.

As founders of the world’s leading mobile AR platform, we know how to get the most out of our technology in order to create and execute outstanding solutions. With the insights we’ve gained from hundreds of thousands of AR campaigns, we’ve developed a deep, fact-based understanding of what does and does not work with AR.

Many of the world’s biggest names – Jaguar, Heineken, Vogue, Reebok, Elle, BMW, Inc., Glamour, Kraft, Walmart, Pepsi – are already making use of AR with Layar, so why not join them?

Let’s talk! If you’re looking for a distinctive way to activate and engage your audience while standing out from your competitors, contact the Layar Creative Studio today or reach out to me directly at arjen@layar.com.

Read our Layar Creative Studio press release.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/541

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Layar Campaigns Take Top Honors at Canadian Newspaper Awards

Chris Cameron April 9, 2014

Canada has been a hotbed of Interactive Print activity with newspapers ever since we partnered with publishers like Glacier Media and national papers like The Toronto Star. Over that time, Canadian papers have produced some outstanding campaigns using the Layar Creator and now they’re being rewarded for their creativity and innovation.

Three different Layar campaigns have been awarded five prizes at the 2014 Great Idea Awards, a ceremony honoring excellence in newspaper promotion and marketing in Canada. The awards for Layar campaigns include three 1st place prizes for both Glacier Media and The Toronto Star.

The Toronto Star’s “Go Beyond” campaign – a fully interactive newspaper produced in partnership with Nissan Canada – took 1st place for Print Innovation and 2nd place in the Advertising category for daily newspapers. “Scene,” a fully Layar-enabled magazine from Glacier Media’s Prince George Citizen (Prince George, British Columbia), took home a pair of 1st place prizes in the Magazine and Young Reader Engagement Initiative categories.

“It is a truly interactive print product that drives reader engagement using Layar technology,” said Norm Coyne, founder of Scene. “The ability of readers to use their smartphones to interact with the content and ads in the magazine has taken the Scene PG to a whole new level.”

    

Another Glacier Media paper – The Peak from Powell River, British Columbia – was awarded a 2nd place prize in the Newspaper Marketing & Promotion category. The campaign encouraged readers to discover the paper’s interactive features through a contest which raised funds for a local hockey club mascot.

“Our staff all participated enthusiastically in the Layar promotion that we hosted as game-night sponsor for our Powell River Kings Junior Hockey Team. They even brought their children to help demonstrate Layar to fans,” said Joyce Carlson, Publisher at Peak Publishing. “Sharing Layar technology was rewarding and placing second in Canada for our entry was extremely satisfying. I’m proud of our staff for coming up with this creative project.”

The awards will be presented at the annual Newspapers Canada Ink & Beyond conference in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on May 29th.

To discover more about how newspapers can take advantage of Interactive Print, visit our Layar in Newspapers page where you can download our Newspaper Industry Overview.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/537

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GIFs, Animations and More Come to the Layar Creator

Chris Cameron April 1, 2014

We’ve recently made an update to the Layar Creator that includes some fun and useful new features. Check out the video below to see what’s new! Read on below for more info.

GIFs – The Internet has fallen in love all over again with the animated GIF, and no matter how you choose to pronounce it, you can now use GIFs as buttons in the Layar Creator. It’s a really simple way to create a more engaging and visually rich experience, and can really help to make important items stand out. To do so, simply drag one of the default blue buttons onto your page, select “Custom image,” and then upload your GIF. Users will see the GIF animate when they scan your page, and they can tap on it to perform the action associated with the button. You can also use the “Show an image” button (now available as a basic button) to just display the GIF with no action tied to it.

Appearance Animations – Sometimes you want your buttons to make a grand entrance, rather than just appearing suddenly. With our new animations you can choose one of a few unique ways to bring motion to your buttons as they appear. They can spin, grow or pop into place – but don’t worry, they won’t repeat the motion over and over, it’s just a nice way for the buttons to appear on your page.

Add to Contacts – Our new “Add to Contacts” button (which uses the common vCard standard) is a perfect tool for allowing your audience to quickly and easily save contact details. While it can be used with any type of Interactive Print, it’s especially great for business cards! When you hand out your interactive card at your next networking event, your new contacts can scan your business card with Layar and add your contact info with just one tap.

Frequently Used Buttons – Do you use just a few buttons over and over in your campaigns? We’ve made it easier to access the buttons you most often use with this new section you’ll find in the right-side button pane. This is just another small way that we’re making it quicker and easier than ever to create Interactive Print.

Sign into the Layar Creator today to check out these new features!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/536

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You Can Now Use Layar on Google Glass

Chris Cameron March 18, 2014

We are very excited to announce today that Layar can now be used on Google Glass. Check out the video below to see how it works, and if you’re a lucky owner of Glass, click here to learn how to install Layar.

As pioneers in the augmented reality space, we were extremely curious when Google first announced Google Glass. We immediately acquired multiple pairs through the Glass Explorer program and have been experimenting and hacking with how this new technology and UI fits with Layar and augmented reality.

From this hacking, we are now able to bring the full power of the Layar App to Google Glass. By just saying “Ok Glass, scan this,” Glass will capture what you’re looking at and match it against the content in our system – the same way the Layar App does today. Now with Layar for Glass, you can view Geo Layers, Interactive Print and QR Codes with a simple voice command.

In the video above, you can see how you can use Glass to view any of the existing AR and Interactive Print content on the Layar platform. From browsing Geo Layers like Funda’s real estate listings, to viewing movie trailers right from the poster, to seeing magazines like Glamour jump to life with video, to immersive 360-degree panoramic experiences.

 

You can view any of Layar’s nearly 6,000 Geo Layers in one of two ways: by scanning the QR code associated with the layer, or scanning a piece of Interactive Print from the Layar Creator with a Geo Layer button. If you know the ID name of a Geo Layer, go to layar.com/layers/{layerIDhere} to view that layer’s QR code.

As you look at the items in the Geo Layer, you can tap on the side of your Glass to select an item, and you can browse other items by scrolling side to side. Give it a try with some popular Geo Layers, like Funda Real Estate, Instagram Photos, Casper Aircraft Tracking and Tweeps Around. You can launch these examples on Glass by scanning the QR codes on these pages.

Speaking of QR codes… Layar for Glass makes for one heck of a QR code scanner! If you want to use Glass to view QR codes, just say “Ok Glass, scan this,” and you’re quickly viewing the content on Glass.

Glass users can now access Layar’s rapidly growing platform of Interactive Print campaigns, including magazines like Men’s Health, Inc. and Glamour, as well as newspapers, advertising, art and more. There are already over 200,000 interactive pages that can be viewed on Glass.

“For nearly five years, Layar has invited developers, designers and creators to use our platform to explore the new medium of Augmented Reality,” says Layar Co-Founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald. “With Google Glass, an important new tool has become available and we are very excited to be part of this amazing platform and explore together this new world of augmented reality.”

From a technical standpoint, we’ve modified Layar to match the UI of Glass, allowing you to interact and browse items using side-scrolling cards. By performing a two-finger tap while viewing Interactive Print, Glass will switch from the AR camera view to a “Pop Out” or fullscreen view, so you can enjoy the contest as comfortably as possible. Additionally, the technology behind the image recognition and AR has been optimized for Glass to make things as smooth as possible.

“When we first got our hands on Google Glass last summer and installed Layar on it, we quickly realized that in order to provide a truly useful experience on Glass, we needed to radically rethink our UI and optimize our technology for this new platform,” says Layar CTO Dirk Groten. “We didn’t just port Layar to Glass, but put in a tremendous amount of effort to create a dedicated app that feels like a first-class citizen on Glass. I believe we’ve created one of the most amazing apps I’ve seen to date on Glass.”

As this version of Layar is still a beta, you won’t find it in Google’s official Glassware catalogue, but installing it is very simple. To get started, download the Layar for Glass APK and read our guide on how to install it.

We will be continuously updating the app as we refine the Layar experience on Glass. If you encounter any trouble, we would love your feedback. Also, be sure to check back at Layar.com/Glass for the latest update to make sure you have the latest version of the app.

You can also contribute to the content on Google Glass right now by using the Layar Creator to make your own interactive content.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/534

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Introducing Layar Creator 2.0: Unlock Layar’s Interactive Print Expertise

Chris Cameron February 17, 2014

If you logged in to the Layar Creator today, you probably noticed some big changes to the look-and-feel. Do not adjust your monitor, we have indeed launched a substantial update to the Layar Creator, but it’s not just a fresh coat of paint.

With the new Layar Creator, we’ve made it easier than ever to get started with Interactive Print.

Since the launch of the Creator nearly two years ago, we’ve seen Interactive Print go from an experimental technology to a powerful and strategic step taken by publishers, marketeers and brands to boost print revenue and reader engagement. Popular brands like Net-a-Porter, Men’s Health, Inc., Glamour, Elle and Cosmopolitan have all embraced Layar and Interactive Print. The printed page has become a new point-of-sale.

As the market continues to rapidly develop, we are improving our products and services to provide more advice and expertise in Interactive Print. We’ve infused the new Creator with our knowledge and experience to better help the publishing industry to easily and quickly add innovation to print.

The new tabbed interface makes navigating between editing, testing, collaborating and promoting campaigns much more intuitive and simple. On the redesigned Campaign Overview screen, a bird’s-eye view of all of your campaigns helps provide the most information possible at a glance. A feed of info cards in this section displays personalized tips, suggestions and helpful information to make the Interactive Print creation process smooth and easy.

“These features and more continue to set the Layar Creator apart as the easiest, most user-friendly and professional Interactive Print publication platform on the market,” said Layar VP of Product Rags Vadali.

Try it yourself today by visiting layar.com/creator.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/531

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