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Gene Talks AR Experience Design to AR Design Students

Chris Cameron June 20, 2011

This summer Layar is sponsoring the first ever college course on augmented reality design in the United States.



The sessions will be held at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and will be administered by none other than legendary Sci-Fi author, futurist and AR guru Bruce Sterling. The class will meet for thirteen weekly 5-hour sessions, and will be co-taught by ACCD professor Guillaume Wolf.



Students will mainly be involved in building augmented reality projects for their design portfolios. “I’m going to encourage them to aim a little ahead of the state-of-the-art in today’s AR,” says Bruce Sterling. “In other words, while they familiarize themselves with what is out in the practice today, they need to design for hardware and software capacities 18 to 24 months in the future.”



The class will cover a wide gamut of AR related topics, including:

  • AR in theory and practice.

  • AR trendspotting.

  • AR outside the handset.

  • AR as an app, add-on or control interface for other services.

  • AR in the art world.

  • AR in the city.

  • AR in the Futurist Quadrant.



The class got underway last month, and Layar’s Maarten Lens-FitzGerald and Gene Becker were on hand to help kick things off. We’ll have some more to share with you as the summer progresses, but to for starters, have a look at Gene’s opening talk on the importance of user experience and interaction design in augmented reality!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/303

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Maarten on Augmenting the Television Industry

Chris Cameron June 17, 2011

Last month our very own Maarten Lens-FitzGerald was invited to speak at the Eurovision TV Summit 2011, the world’s “leading event for public service media professionals.” The event features many forums for discussion among contributors and decision-makers in the public service media field, but is capped off with its keynote event, the Common Focus Day.



The Common Focus Day featured discussions ranging from engaging and entertaining younger viewers to how public broadcasters can adapt to the fast-moving demands of a more connected audience. Several speakers addressed Social TV and Interactive TV, and encouraged public broadcasters to create content that could be used to this end.



This year’s focus was on television stations as “multi-platform media services,” so Maarten stood up to talk about the next great media platform: augmented reality. It’s an interesting take on how an existing media platform can expand its capabilities with this up-and-coming industry, and worth a watch. Check out the video on the Eurovision TV Summit website (Maarten’s talk is video #7 in the player), or by clicking the player link below!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/302

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Come Get Social with Layar!

Chris Cameron June 16, 2011

With the most recent Layar upgrade we added the ability to share layers and screenshots with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, so we’re no strangers to social networks. You can follow us Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with our day-to-day activity and find links to interesting augmented reality-related content, but recently we’ve been expanding our social horizons.



You may have noticed already if you follow our Twitter feed but Layar has branched out to some new social networks: notably Tumblr and Instagram. On the official Layar Tumblr, you can find a plethora of AR and Layar information - including the stuff we find on the web and share on our internal email. We figured, why not share this with our fans? You’ll find interesting videos, pictures, quotes and other bite-sized snacks for your augmented world.



And on Instagram, you’ll get a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at Layar, as we post photos and snapshots from the office here in Amsterdam. We’ll also share other interesting images we might find around the web, but for the most part, Instagram will be your portal into what happens at this fun-loving Holland-based startup. We think you’ll enjoy it, so come join the Instagram fun and tag your photos or Layar screenshots with #layar and we’ll check ‘em out!



Of course you can still find us at our usual online stomping grounds: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare and MeetUp. Is there anywhere else you would like to see a Layar presence? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us a note on Twitter or Facebook, or even Tumblr!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/301

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ART June: Klaas Nienhuis of DPI Animation House

Chris Cameron June 15, 2011

On the first Thursday of each month, Layar hosts Augmented Reality Thursday (ART). The objective of this monthly event is to inspire and update people about the current field of augmented reality and the position of Layar within it. Next to that, we also like to connect developers, publishers, brands and (of course) our employees to exchange stories, visions and ideas about this burgeoning field of technology.



Last week at Layar HQ we held another installment of ART, featuring a presentation from Klaas Nienhuis of DPI Animation House. Klaas spoke for longer than our usual quick pitches at ART, but he had lots of interesting things to share, including details of the UAR layer and the use of 3D modeling in Layar.



Developers will definitely want to check Klaas’ talk out!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/300

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ARDevCamp Sydney Brings AR Down Under

Chris Cameron June 14, 2011

Over the weekend, ARDevCamp held its very first event in Australia, bringing a Layar-sponsored gathering of augmented reality developers to Sydney. Rob Manson - the man behind MOB Labs and Certified Layar Creation Tool buildAR - hosted the event and posted a great overview of the day’s activities on his blog. Here are a few selections from Rob’s report.



The first ARDevCamp in Sydney was a great event with 40-50 people attending throughout the day. It was held at the Powerhouse Museum in their ThinkSpace providing interactive whiteboards, projectors and laptops for those who needed them. Throughout the day we covered a lot of topics and there was a lot of interesting discussion and debate generated.



Early in the day we covered a basic introduction to Augmented Reality in general and discussed the difference between geo-located, marker based and computer vision based AR. It also gave me a chance to rant a little about my views on the currently limited definition of AR.



@alexmyoung then presented an overview of the current state of interaction available in AR applications. She covered the “4 key modes of AR UX” outlined on the http://AR-UX.com site and it was a great chance to review and debate how projective interfaces like Sixth Sense fit into this analysis. This also raised some interesting discussion around gesture recognition, barehand computing and the opportunities for defining standard languages and norms in this space.



Then @DamonOehlman ran an interesting session on WebGL and I think a lot of people’s eyes were opened to the opportunity that is rapidly evolving here. We had some initial hurdles at the beginning to configure the browsers to support WebGL but quickly overcame that and were able to demonstrate the Mixing Reality demo along with some others. This is a great match for where this technology is really at. It doesn’t work out of the box and the average web user doesn’t even know it’s possible…but without too much effort at all you can get some mind blowing content running in your browser.



Warren Armstrong also gave an overview of the (Un)seen Sculptures exhibition that uses Layar to present art from a wide range of artists at venues like the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Festival.



[…]



The rest of the afternoon people spent hacking on various projects with a lot of people using http://buildAR.com to start creating layers like the #ARDevCamp layer. @absolut_todd was even able to quickly take the list of Victorian Microbreweries provided by http://data.gov.au to create what is obviously a very useful layer 8)



We wound up the day with a quick play with the Parrot AR Drones and then all headed off for drinks at the Pumphouse which were very kindly sponsored by the team at Layar.



Out of the day came about 100 tweets which reached over 47,000 users. Since then a number of people have also created some great blog posts about the day.



We at Layar are very excited to see the love of augmented reality spreading to every hemisphere of the planet! In fact, following this event in Sydney there are a few more events being planned in the area, including Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand.



Photo by Halans.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/299

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