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Blog: 3D

Layar’s 3D Augmented Office at Mobile World Congress, and an Introduction to Virtual Commerce

Adriane Goetz February 17, 2011










Layar 3D augmented office.
Outside view of the Layar Augmented Office.

As we mentioned last week, Layar is attending the 2011 GSMA Mobile World Congress conference/exhibition in Barcelona from 14-17 February, and we weren’t about to show up empty-handed.



Each afternoon at MWC Fountain, Layer is holding an Augmented Reality meetup where we show off our new Augmented Office layer, an interactive 3D model that you can literally walk into and access information about the company, layer content, job openings and more.



This layer was created especially for MWC, so it is only visible from Barcelona, but there is also a public version that can be viewed from anywhere in the world.



The 3D office combines elements of virtual reality with AR, enabling a 360 degree view of the space. You can look up at the multilevel ceiling, down at the tile and wooden floors, and around through the many windows where you can still see the “real” world.



Turn or walk around in the office and you see posters on the walls of some of our Layar Partner Network members, where you can touch the pop-up screen to visit their website, email them or follow them on Twitter. You also find portraits of our co-founders and our reps at MWC that you can contact or connect with on Twitter right from the layer.













Layar 3D augmented office.
Inside view of the Layar Augmented Office.

Continuing the office tour, you see posters on the windows for five of our coolest international layers that you can launch directly from inside the Augmented Office layer (A layer within a layer? Now we’re approaching Inception theory—be careful!).



Finally, near the doorway, you see a monitor on the wall that says “Layar News & Jobs” where you can see the current job/internship opportunities and read the latest news on our blog.



The concept of an “augmented office” allows any company to become an international company. You can place an office in the heart of Tokyo, Dubai or at Time Square in New York City.



But just as easily as you can place an office, you can place a store, selling merchandise through Paypal in AR! Case and point: Hostage Wear Shop. Hostage Wear is Layar’s first AR store, selling hats, t-shirts and other urban skate/streetwear products directly from the layer—there’s even a half-pipe in the store! (Although we don’t recommend trying to skateboard in AR… yet).










Layar 3D augmented office.
Outside view of the Hostage Wear shop.

Funnily enough, the Hostage Wear Shop layer actually started out as a joke. Herve Pellarin, creator of both Layar’s Augmented Office and Hostage Wear Shop (and the concept of virtual commerce in general), originally made the layer for his best friend to, in Pellarin’s words, “shut his mouth” about the frustration and expense of constantly having to make the tradeshow circuit to gain brand recognition and sell merchandise.



As anyone working in AR knows, monetization is a major issue at the moment, so virtual commerce is an exciting and much welcomed new element to the platform.



Pellarin is the man behind French development company HPSC, a member of the Layar Partner Network. He has made virtual commerce his primary focus, embarking on several new [mostly confidential] projects, and continues to push the boundaries in AR. Pellarin may still wear the coding hat, but assures us “I’m not a programmer. I’m a dreamer; an AR-chitect.”



You can contact Herve Pellarin at nocomp@gmail.com or follow @nocomp on Twitter.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/232

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Layar 5.0 Beta Animation Features Spotted in the Wild!

Chris Cameron February 16, 2011

Last week, we opened up a beta release of Layar 5.0 for Android featuring new sharing and animation capabilities (as well as a few other handy improvements). We were very excited to get this version of the Layar client in the hands of developers to see what wonderful things they could come up with using these new features, and already we’re seeing some great stuff.



Developer and former Layar intern Anthony Maës just recently put together a nice looking layer that shows off the new animation functionality. If you’re running the beta on your Android device, search for “Ferris Wheel” and check out Anthony’s work. Or just watch this YouTube video:





The layer features a 3D model of a spinning ferris wheel with balloons floating around it as carnival music plays in the background. It’s a terrific example of some of the possibilities that Layar 5.0 will introduce for developers.



Anthony created the ferris wheel with two separate 3D models; the wheel and the supports. Being careful about how he designed the models allowed him to use Layar 5.0’s rotation attributes to simulate a spinning ferris wheel. To hear more from Anthony and see the source code, check out his post on the Layar Developer Support Forum.



As another example of animation in Layar 5.0, the ARcade layer has updated its 3D icons to include animation as well. Now the game’s tokens spin in the air and those ever familiar PacMan ghosts have shifty eyes.



If you’re running the beta client, have a look at these layers and let us know when you find other great examples of 5.0 features in the wild!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/231

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The Invisible Artist Layer Guides You Through London’s Art Museums

Adriane Goetz February 15, 2011

Perusing London’s wide array of art museums, a personal tour guide is the ultimate way to augment your experience; so when a charming British artist dandified in a variety of custom suits appears before you at each of London’s top museums offering commentary about its history and architecture as well as a list of exhibiting artists, you find his “presence” pleasant and helpful despite his disarming lack of flesh and bone. 

As you progress from museum to museum, however, you begin to question this “invisible artist’s” motives. 

Artist and Derby University professor John Goto came up with the concept for The Invisible Artist in a period of frustration after being dropped from a gallery’s books. Ruminating over the politics of the art world, where an artist’s visibility requires the approval of a small group of “gatekeepers,” Goto began sketching the headless figures that would eventually become the 3D models in his Invisible Artist layer.

The nature of Goto’s frustration fit perfectly with Augmented Reality’s open space platform because Goto could place his art at any location—or in this case, at any museum he desired, without permission, and anyone (with the Layar app, that is) could see it. The result was a subversive layer satirizing the bureaucracy and lack of diversity of London’s contemporary art scene (notice how the list of exhibiting artists contains the same few names at every museum).

While its derisive nature is clever, the “must-see” factor in this layer is its exquisite 3D modeling. Peering through your mobile phone at these life-sized figures, you can see the shadow behind every fold in the artist’s clothing, the texture of each material, and the soft glow of London’s cloudy sky gently reflected off of each garment.

The Invisible Artist is an excellent example of what can be achieved on the Layar platform with the right combination of skills in the artistic as well as the technical fields. In order to build this layer, Goto utilized his artistic talent to create the 3D models, then colleague Matthew Leach (from whom Goto first learned about Augmented Reality) used his development skills to set up a server, place the models, and program functionality to make for the best possible user experience.

The Invisible Artist is Goto and Leach’s second layer in their Augmented Reality repertoire; their first, West End Blues, explores the history and sounds of London’s jazz and blues musicians. The two have recently become Pioneers in the Layar Partner Network, and you can look forward to more groundbreaking AR content from them in the future.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/230

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Layer of the week: Quiznos, with 3D texture animation

maurice groenhart July 23, 2010

The layer of this week is the first layer that has been published on our Augmented Reality platform which has 3D texture animations. Quiznos, a big fast food restaurant in the United States and Canada, is specialized in toasted sandwiches used the Layar platform for their campaign. The Quiznos layer includes a store locator, several videos, animated 3D and location based coupons. We talked to Mathijs Gajentaan from Winvolve who developed this layer for Quiznos.
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How did you manage to get a brand this big on board? First and foremost: Showing them what’s possible. At the outset of most projects, our clients will have an idea of what they want to achieve. But when we’re given the opportunity to unleash our passion for our technology and really show them what’s possible, that’s typically when great things happen. Ultimately it is those case studies that help us attract new clients.

Was Quinzos familiar with the Layar concept? They were keen on AR, and found Layar to be the perfect solution.

What is the added value of this layer for Quiznos? For this question I asked Quiznos for a quote because they can explain the added value for Quiznos the best

Tim Kraus,  Interactive Marketing Manager Quiznos: “The added value of Layar to Quiznos is keeping our brand relevant. As more people use their smart phones to connect with their world, we need to make sure we have a presence in that world without appearing spammy. Location Based apps like Layar is a great fit for Quiznos. In addition, this app allows us to pull in people from demographics we may not have targeted before.”

Your worlds first with 3D animation within a Layar. Was it hard to realize this? We really saw this as a great opportunity. Our animation specialists worked on Movies, Games and Architecture before and were very excited and motivated to develop something amazing using 3D models and animations for the Layar platform. On the technical implementation side we also recieved help from our partner Hoppala.eu.
What can we expect from Winvolve in the near future? Important for us is helping people develop a better understanding of Augmented Reality technology and its possibilities. You can expect us to play a role in that through projects that educate and inspire.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/167

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1000th layer published

maurice groenhart July 13, 2010

Yes, we reached another milestone. Last week we reached the mark of 1000 published layers. We would like to thank all developers who are making this possible and published all their layers over the past year. Unfortunately not everybody can publish the 1000th layer and the lucky one who published it, is SystemK. We talked to Scott Halcomb from SystemK.











Scott, congratulations you’ve published the 1000th layer. Can you tell us something about this layer?





Layarで記念撮影’ allows users in Japan to showcase their artistic
abilities by placing their own 2D and 3D images into this social layer.
 By visiting this special website  Japanese users can learn all about
how to create 2D and 3D objects specifically for Layar.



Step by step
guides walk users through the production process and an easy to use 
uploader lets anyone place their creations into the layer.
Initially this layer has been populated by some of the creative
 characters designed for prefectural institutions around Japan.
Visitors to these areas can experience the creativity of local 
designers by taking pictures along with the famous characters.



Ultimately though, ‘Layarで記念撮影’ encourages users to be inventive and
 design their own characters and works of art. Soon, user generated 2D 
and 3D experiences could start popping up into the stream of Layar
 user’s all over the world.


Why did SystemK choose Layar as the platform to develop on?
It is exciting to work on projects that are the first of their kind and are on the cutting edge of technology. With Layar SystemK is able to provide users with brand new experiences that can be both informational and entertaining.



Could you tell us something about the usage of layer in JP?
Layar is being used in all sorts of different ways in Japan. Our tourism layers and several of our discovery layers have been well received. The layer used to debut an album last year was a huge success. We also continue to see steady growth in our layer populated by user generated content.



Any future plans when it comes to layer development?
We are currently testing some fantastic 3D content for a partner in real estate that wants to pre-visualize building construction. Also, we have a layer for enterprise use in the works for a major Japanese gas company.



We’re looking forward to see these layers published.



We would like to thank Scott and SystemK for all their published layers and maybe you’re the developer who publish the 2000th layer.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/164

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