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Blog: 3D

Discover Phildelphia’s Past on Top of its Present With PhillyHistory AR

Adriane Goetz May 20, 2011










A 1963 photo of 4625 Springfield Ave. in Philadelphia overlaid onto the present location.

With each cool new history layer, we are reminded that Augmented Reality is a great way to display historical photos and information previously hidden away in government archives.



Currently on the Layar platform, you can see San Francisco’s historic Market Street before and after the massive earthquake in 1906 that forever changed the landscape, view the Berlin Wall as it stood between 1961 and 1989, uncover Civil War history and more.



The newest historical addition to the Layar platform, PhillyHistory, uses Augmented Reality to merge Philadelphia’s past with present.



Using content from the Philadelphia Department of Records’ online database (PhillyHistory.org), you can access nearly 90,000 historic images of the city, 500 of which are pinned to the current landscape in virtually their exact location in AR. Of those 500 images, 20 also contain additional information about the places in the photos created by the editors of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia as well as local scholars.







PhillyHistory App

This massive project was made possible by a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The organization rewarded this grant to the City of Philadelphia Department of Records (DOR) in order to fund a research project that would investigate the use of Augmented Reality in displaying historic photographs as overlays on a view of the current landscape.



The DOR partnered with Philadelphia-based company Azavea to conduct the research on Augmented Reality and build the mobile phone applications. The two organizations published the results of this research in a free white paper available for download here. The paper also serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in building on the Layar platform.



The PhillyHistory app is available in the iTunes Store as well as the Android Market, but you can also access it from inside Layar via the PhillyHistory AR layer.









Three phases in the evolution of the PhillyHistory layer

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/284

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Spanish Geeks Get Their Frikoño On

Chris Cameron May 9, 2011

We’ve all got a little freak and geek in us, and there is no prouder community of nerds out there than the fans of the epic saga that is Star Wars.



Star Wars fans come in all shapes and sizes and hail from all around the world - including Logroño, a city in the north of Spain.



Last week, the city’s residents celebrated “Frikoño 2011” - a week long fiesta dedicated to all things geek. To mark the occasion they dressed up as Star Wars characters, held a 12-hour marathon viewing of the television show “Big Bang Theory,” marched through the streets in “Lord Vader” parades and even competed in “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” - a nerdy twist on a classic game.



In addition to these geeky festivities, local technology company Esidea created a layer to promote Frikoño using augmented reality. Keeping with the Star Wars fandom, the layer features detailed 3D models of classic Star Wars ship and vehicles, including the Death Star, Star Destroyers, AT AT walkers and more.



Check out the layer on your mobile device (if you’re in Spain) or simply watch the video below to see the Empire and the Rebellion in Layar!



You can scrub ahead to the 30 second mark, or you can submit yourself to the strangely entertaining introduction (in Spanish, of course).



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/276

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LCPlush’s AR Store Sells Handmade Plush Toys

Adriane Goetz May 5, 2011








The multitalented Celine Mornet (known professionally as LutinCapuche) may be a Flash developer by trade, but she also has a creative outlet that allows her to step away from the computer monitor: designing and sewing stuffed animals (or “plushes,” to be exact).



Celine started making these plushes purely or fun; she displayed her little handmade creatures online but didn’t intend to sell any until people started asking to buy them from her. She then decided to make purchases easier by creating an online store, and has recently made the experience more fun by also selling them in Augmented Reality.



We’ve talked about HPSC‘s Herve Pellarin and his virtual commerce (aka v-commerce) layers before, but these AR shops seem to be getting cooler with each new implementation. The LCPlush Anywhere layer, for example, has intricate character designs on the walls, 3D renderings of the plushes and images of the actual products.










Introducing LCPlush: the latest in V-commerce on the Layar platform.

Celine and Herve worked together in France, and it was Herve who gave her the idea for an AR shop. The two joined forces on this project and created the AR shop in only two weeks!



“This guy is amazing because he always has some innovative ideas,” Celine says. “Everytime time I talk to him I learn something new. He made me discover Layar, how it works and how I can use it to sell my plushes.”



The LCPlush Shop layer has geo-located stores in her own city of Montreal, Canada, as well as in Paris, Geneva and Annecy, France that you can literally walk into.



For everyone outside of Canada and France, there’s the LCPlush Anywhere layer that places you in the center of the store where you can view various stuffed curiosities like the Real Monsters-esque Croc Cochmar and the cuddly yet carnivorous CrockNFish.



You also can share your favorite plushes on Facebook or Twitter, access the item in the online store (where you can purchase it via PayPal), or call the company from inside the layer.










The adorable Crock Cochmar in the LCPlush AR shop.

Even with her online store and AR shop capabilities, Celine doesn’t want to increase the number of plush orders much beyond her current 10 or so per week (hand-sewing plushes can get very time-consuming). She is, however, interested in expanding her use of AR, which she believes is an exciting new way to diffuse a brand.



In the near future, Celine would like to add more elements to her LCPlush AR shop. For example, she wants to allow users to customize their own plushes in 3D and place them around the world.



“At the end of the day, the goal is to build a kind of huge LCPlush exhibition and organize some contests with plushes as prizes,” she says.



Celine plans to do more projects with Herve, but also plans to develop new, complex layers on her own using her newly-acquired Layar development skills.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/274

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Two More ARt Exhibitions Opening in April

Adriane Goetz April 6, 2011










Image from the Gradually Melt the Sky exhibition invitation.

Last week we wrote about two Augmented Reality art shows opening this month in Philadelphia. Well, East Coasters, you can add two more to the list.



Some of Layar’s most innovative and active “ARtists” in the US, including Mark Skwarek, Will Pappenheimer and John Craig Freeman (along with other, internationally based, members of Manifest.AR like Sander Veenhof) kick off a new exhibition this Friday at Devotion Gallery in Brooklyn called Gradually Melt the Sky.



The exhibition runs from April 8 - May 1, and featured ARtwork includes a visualization of water contamination in the Williamsburg/Bushwick neighborhoods, a “Parade to Hope” and a re-creation of the 1989 Tiananman Protest.



The ARtists will then move these and other works to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) from April 22 - May 8 for the Boston Cyberarts Festival. If you’re in the Boston area for the event, you can access the mobile site and ManifestAR layer here.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/259

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Two Virtual ARt Exhibitions Powered by Layar Opening in April

Adriane Goetz March 31, 2011










“Miro Alien Chest-Burster” by Jon Rafman at the VPAP@PIFA AR exhibition in Philadelphia.

While there doesn’t appear to be an “Augmented Reality Awareness Month” yet, April is looking like a strong candidate. Besides the lovely weather here in Amsterdam and in many parts of the world (ideal for mobile AR experiences), there are already two Augmented Reality art exhibitions (in 3 locations) using the Layar platform so far this month.



The first runs from April 7-May 1 in Philadelphia, PA as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). This exhibition is a collaboration between Breadboard, a hybrid program at the University City Science Center dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, science and technology, and Layar Partner VPAP (Virtual Public Art Project).



VPAP@PIFA features 25 works of art placed strategically around around the city (like on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for instance). These 3D AR models include, but are not limited to, a giant alien snake (see image, right), a deformed foot that changes color, and a giant squid.










Mark Skwarek‘s “Occupation Forces” at the (Un)seen Sculptures exhibit in Sydney/Melbourne Australia.

Meanwhile, another ARt exhibition called (Un)seen Sculptures kicks off on April 9 in Sydney, Australia as part of the Surry Hills Festival then reopens in Melbourne on April 30.



The exhibition was organized by Australian new media artist Warren Armstrong and features 3D models created by 13 artists from across the globe, including a robot army (see image, left) a memorial for Japan, and a colony of hallucinogenic toads that copulate and then die.



You won’t be able to see the models yourself unless you’re physically present at the exhibition locations, but if you do go to one of these events, send us your screenshots! (content@layar.com)



Congratulations to all the artists, veteran Layar developers and new, for their phenomenal work. These are some of the best 3D models we’ve seen on Layar yet!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/256

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