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Blog: Developers

Changes to publication site and new minor release of the developer APK

Dirk Groten October 8, 2009

Today we deployed a new version of the publishing site. Accompanying this change is version 2.1.1 of the developer APK. You need to install the new APK if you want to use some of the new features of the developer site. There is no change to the market version, as we’ll come with a new version with end-user features later on. Read on for the changes.

Changes to the publication site:

  • New navigation: Announcements are on the home page, you’ll find your developer ID/key has been moved to your profile

  • Deletion of test layers: You can now delete test layers. This removes your layer from the database irrevocably!

  • Freezing published layers: If you need to block access to your layer for any reason (e.g. maintenance, serious bug you want to fix), you can now freeze a layer. Users will not see your layer in any of the layer galleries, unless they have already marked it as ‘Favorite’. In the latter case, if they select the layer, they’ll get a message telling that the layer is ‘temporarily unavailable’.

Changes to the developer APK:

  • You need the new developer APK v2.1.1 in order to be able to view frozen layers with your developer ID/key. They don’t show up on the current application.

  • Application correctly handles intents to external applications in the POI actions. If the external application is present on the handset, it will be launched; otherwise a message is displayed to the user. Note that “http://” intents are not supported, these always start the web view.

  • Bug fix: Application won’t download images larger than 50 kB in the BIW to avoid out-of-memory crash.

  • Bug fix: Better checks for invalid JSON in responses to GetPointsOfInterest.

  • Bug fix: Country code United Kingdom is now the same as Great Britain in the developer settings.

Regarding support for external intents: Use this APK to test this functionality, but note that it hasn’t been released to the Market yet so it won’t work for published layers yet. Current users of Layar v2.1 will experience an error when launching an unknown action URL.


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See Layar at ISMAR09 – The Augmented Reality Conference

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald October 1, 2009

picture-3ISMAR is the place where all augmented reality people will meet. Researchers and entrepreneurs. Come and meet the Layar CTO Dirk Groten who will be attending. The event is in Orlando, Florida and takes place from October 19 till 22.

Get a 23% discount
Use the code “”LAYAR2009” when you register and get a 23% discount.

The program consists of workshops on monday (we recommend the Mobile Magic Wand workshop) and much more. View the full program here or the summary:

- On Monday we are offering six research and commercial workshops and one Tutorial on Tracking. You may sign up for only one full-day workshop or tutorial.

Registration includes admittance to the post-workshop ISMAR Expo reception on Monday evening where you will be able to mix with diverse disciplines and sectors of the ISMAR community.

Monday’s Keynote will be given by Mark Mine, Creative Technology Director for Disney Imagineering.

-Tuesday is the start of the 3-day ISMAR conference where you can choose one of three options:

1) the traditional Science and Technology research program,

2) the new Arts, Media and Humanities program or

3) Pioneer Tutorials continue, taught by ISMAR pioneers.

Tuesday Keynote will be given by Natasha Tsakos,  Performance artist converging dreams and technology

Conference registration also includes the conference reception Tuesday night, keynote presentations, exhibition pass and the Wednesday night awards banquet.

Wednesday Keynote will be given by Pattie Maes, Director of the Fluid Interface Lab, MIT Media Lab.



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Layar Reality Browser adds 3D to its Platform

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald September 22, 2009

Layar adds new dimensions to its platform; first demo in Amsterdam.

AMSTERDAM, September 22nd 2009 – Today Layar announced the addition of 3D capabilities to its augmented reality browser platform. With 3D, developers can tag real-life objects with 3D text, place 3D objects in real-world space, and create multi-sensory experiences. The addition of 3D enables Layar developers to create more realistic and immersive augmented reality experiences for mobile devices.

First demo at Picnic Conference in the Netherlands
The first demonstration of the Layar 3D experience will be at the Picnic Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from September 23-25. A demo application has been developed to showcase the power of 3D. Conference attendees looking for “Picnic” in the Android Market can find and download the Android application to their phone to view a virtual exhibition that delivers a multi-sensory experience of reality, augmented by 3D.

They will experience the flyby of a jumbojet, a rocket launch, and be in the middle of an arcade game - all including sound. Conference buildings are tagged with 3D texts and on the lawn several 3D objects are placed such as windmills and 3D “experience domes”. Videos and images of the demo are available at

How does it work?
Layar 3D makes use of OpenGL, the accelerometer, the GPS and the compass of the phone. Developers can place 3D objects in their content layers based on coordinates. Objects can be optimized in size and orientation to create an immersive and realistic experience. The 3D capabilities support live downloading and rendering of 3D objects. Actions such as “open link” or “play music” can be assigned to 3D objects.

November Launch for Android
Together with selected partners Layar will update their API to support 3D objects for new and existing layers. Layar will launch 3D to the public in November together with the launch of version 3.0 of the Layar Reality Browser for Android.

Raimo van der Klein, CEO:

“We are very excited to announce this groundbreaking addition to the platform. Augmented Reality is an experience medium, not just a tool or a substitute for maps. With 3D we deliver these experiences. The platform currently facilitates over 500 developers who from November onwards will have endless possibilities to create rich 3D multi-sensory Augmented Reality experiences.”

About Layar
The Layar Reality Browser displays real time digital information on top of reality in the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, tourist information, play a live game, etcetera. Layar first launched on June 16th, 2009 and announced its global launch and version 2.0 on August 17th, 2009. The Layar platform serves as an enabler for mobile location services - any database with geo-location information can easily be turned in a content layer. The Layar Reality Browser is globally available for mobile phones running the Android operating system, with iPhone 3GS coming soon. Layar is a company based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

More information

Available videos (less then 60 seconds) of technical trials and screenshots:













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ArchINFORM winner of the Developer Challenge

Dirk Groten September 6, 2009

archinform_screenshotDuring the developer workshop on August 18th, we announced the Layar Developer Challenge: Any developer who created after August 17th and submitted for publication before August 21st, midnight, would enter the Challenge. On Saturday morning, I found 7 layers in my inbox. All were ready for publication and needed at most minor changes to be approved.

These were the participants:

  • Hoppala by Marc René Gardeya: What was briefly discussed during the workshop has already been realized: An aggregator layer! Complete with provisioning form for other layer developers to add their layer. The layer hasn’t been published yet and is looking for other layers to join in :-) Go to Marc René’s website if you’re interested.

  • Miljoenhuizen (a million of houses) by Nico Schoonderwoerd ( A real estate site for the Netherlands with a potential to grow to many other countries in Europe. Very cool custom look. In the NL, search for ‘huizen’ to find this layer.

  • Openingstijden (opening hours) by Hans Nauta ( Opening times of stores nearby, like supermarkets, DIY stores, etc… The cool thing is, the app gives you the opening times for today and tomorrow.

  • Architecture Guide by Sascha Hendel (ArchInform): An original new kind of layer, that will inform you of the architecture of special buildings all over the world. And not just touristic landmarks, you’ll be amazed at the depth of their database, highlighting industrial buildings as well.

  • Verbeterdebuurt (improve your neighborhood) by Johannes La Poutré ( Give feedback about the public space around you, like garbage dumps, neglected parks or dangerous traffic situations and view the feedback of others. The site is used by local authorities to improve the public areas.

  • Hotpads by Doug Lewis ( The first real estate layer for the US. Very cool graphics, great number of houses in the database (well, enough houses for sale at this point in time…)

  • Estaciones de Servicio (gas stations in Spain) by SIGNO (Jose Millares): The first layer to find the nearest gas stations, you can search by brand (e.g. type BP and only BP stations will be shown). The very cool feature is that the actual prices of gas are shown, so you can choose the cheapest one!

We’ve had a hard time judging this competition. All layers had their particularities making them stand out compared to the current directory of layers. Should we award based on originality? Design? Usefulness? Coverage? In the end we just followed our hearts, voted and found out that we unanimously agreed on the number 1 spot: ArchINFORM.

The prize for Sascha is a white HTC Hero, which will soon make its way from Amsterdam to Berlin.


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Layar Reality Browser 2.1 launched

Rhymo August 29, 2009

We just uploaded an updated version of our browser. Next to some little bug fixes (thanks everyone for your feedback) we added some cool new sharing features.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: We also removed the “forward lock” making it possible for people with a developer phone to download Layar as well. As a consequence it is impossible to update your current Layar application. So please remove it before you upgrade. We are sorry for this but the “forward lock” was making our life very complicated. Better to do this move now than later. Please share the message by retweeting. Thanks!

New feature 1: Share a layer:

You can now send a layer to your friends. Every layer has a unique URL. If you have this version of Layar installed and you see a Layar Link in for example Twitter you can just click it and it will open that specific layer in the Layar Reality Browser. Isn’t that cool?


(These are the menu options)


(Share a layer how you prefer it)

New feature 2: Share Layar screenshots:

Whenever you are in a situation that you see something in Layar that you really need to share, just click screenshot under the menu button. It makes a screenhot and enables you to share it via the mechanism of choice (Email, Picasa, Pixelpipe).


(Check if your screenshot is cool enough to share. This one is clearly not! hehe)


(Share it with the world)


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