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Blog: Development news

Vote for best Layar Engagement Idea

maurice groenhart December 9, 2009

A few weeks ago we announced the Layar Engagement Competition: Any developer who dropped a great layar engagement idea which goes way beyond offering a functional ‘where is’ service before December 6th, midnight, entered the competition. We would like to thank all developers that dropped their ideas (over 60 in total) and we proud to announce the nominees for best Layar Engagement Idea.



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Staging your layers and updating existing layers with 3.0 functionality

Dirk Groten December 4, 2009

We’ve just deployed a new version of the publication site giving developers some cool functionality to stage their layer development:

  • Duplicate layers: You can now just copy a layer’s content to a new layer. This results in a new layer (you can choose the name) in the testing stage.

  • Replace live layers: Layers that have been approved for publication can replace existing live layers. Say you want to upgrade your v2 layer with some cool new 3D functionality. You can duplicate your live layer to have a good starting point, then start making the changes to your layer and test them. Once you’re ready you request publication and we approve it. Now instead of publishing your layer (ending up with two different layers published) you can replace your current live layer. We recommend you use this method, as the layer name is the identifier on the clients and just removing the old one (freeze) and publishing the new one won’t update layers marked as ‘Favorite’ by end-users.

  • Delete frozen layers: You can now delete a layer that has been frozen. Clean up the clutter on your dashboard!

Because the ‘Replace’ process is a bit complex, here’s a detailed description of what happens. When you replace a live layer (‘B’) with the contents of layer ‘A’ ready for publication, the end state will be:

  • The contents of your layer are copied into the live layer without changing the name or the change history. You end up with layer ‘B’ that has the contents of layer ‘A’.

  • The old live layer gets backed up into a new layer with status ‘frozen’, named ‘B_1’ (or _n if previous ones are taken). You can re-copy into the live layer should something have gone horribly wrong. Or just delete it.

  • The original layer ‘A’ is kept but goes back to ‘testing’ stage, so you can use it for your next big upgrade

We hope you’ll find it easier now to upgrade your layers with cool new features.


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Layar 3.0 Publishing Site is up

Cari Davidson November 30, 2009

The Layar Publishing site is up, with support for Layar 3.0 layers!   Developers can start making their 3.0 layers immediately by going to

Changes this release:

  • 3D Objects (see the Layar Wiki for details)

  • Unlimited POI types

  • Support for more textbox and slider filters

  • New checkboxlist filter - there can be more than one

  • User authentication - cookies

  • Auto-triggered actions

  • Local layers - a new way to define and find layers

  • Flexible radius - Return as many POIs as you need, and then set the radius

  • Improved layer validation, and automatic support for older client versions

  • POI-to-POI capability, for story-telling and guided tours

If you find any problems, please help us out by sending bug reports to


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Engagement Competition

maurice groenhart November 11, 2009

Do you have a great idea for an engaging layer?

What are we looking for?

We are looking for great and innovative ideas for engaging layers that will connect customer with for example brands by “engaging” them in a dialogue and two-way, cooperative interaction.

For example:

The Dutch Heart Foundation will launch a layer on Valentine day which makes it possible to post 3D hearts with a message on different positions. This results in people looking at street with Layar and seeing all the 3D hearts in front of house. You really see the love out there! This layer will connect customers and the brand in a positive way, by using valentine messages which customers can post and send to each other within the layer. Next to that the layer creates a dialog between these customer and between the costumers and the brand. The users of this layer will create a positive association with the Heart Foundation.

Other examples could be treasure hunts (find the secret…, explore the city in a unique way), storytelling (including historical stories - what happened here), visualizations (how did/ should it look like), 3D art etc.

Anything which creates an engaging experience, making people to want to come back and to ‘dive’ into the layer. Think out-of-the-box and feel free to add new features in your idea which we currently don’t support in Layar

Which criteria will be used to evaluate my idea?

We will use the following criteria to evaluate your idea.

  • Creativity

  • Feasibility

  • Added value for user or brands

How can I enter the competition?


What’s in it for me?

We will reward the best idea with an Android phone. With Layar of course ; )


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Support for video and audio in Layar

Dirk Groten October 29, 2009

We’ve pushed a new version of Layar (2.2) to the Android Market and iTunes App Store (2.1) a few days ago.

Besides some bug fixes and preparations for the upcoming releases of Android 1.6 and 2.0 (with many new devices), there is one change that is relevant for our developers: The POI actions now support video and audio! Also links to other native applications (intents/URL schemes) are supported.

  • video:// This URL scheme should be used if you want to add a video to your POI actions. The video:// will be replaced by http:// when actually calling the URL. Layar supports 3GPP and MPEG4 videos with progressive download hints (streaming over HTTP).

  • audio:// This URL scheme should be used if you want to add an audio track to your POI actions. The audio:// scheme will be replaced by http:// when actually calling the URL. Layar supports playing of mp3 and mp4 (aac) audio files.

  • Custom app support: Say you have an app called Donut that has registered its own donut:// scheme on the system (intent on Android). You can have the app Donut started using this scheme directly from a POI action.

The video and audio will be streamed inside the Layar application, so when closing the stream, the user returns to your layer. Obviously the custom scheme opens the custom app and switches to it, closing Layar on the iPhone.

If you use these new schemes, they will be stripped for users on earlier versions, so make sure you also have some actions for users on v2.1 (Android) or 2.0 (iPhone).

Lastly: Download the new APK v2.2 (Android) for developers here in order to test your layer.

Questions? Use the Google Group!


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