Layar
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Blog: Games

VIDEO: Augmented Reality Thursday - May 5th

Chris Cameron May 6, 2011

Yesterday was many things.



In the Netherlands it was Liberation Day - the celebration of the day which ended the Nazi occupation of Holland near the end of World War II - and in U.S. it was Cinco de Mayo (5th of May), which celebrates Mexican/American culture. But most importantly, yesterday was Thursday (which means today it is Friday - sorry, couldn’t resist), but not just any Thursday. Augmented Reality Thursday.



On the first Thursday of each month, we invite AR enthusiasts to gather at Layar HQ for lively discussions fueled by snack foods and Heineken. This month we had Fred van Rijswijk from C2K - a Layar Partner Network member - to talk about the latest iteration of the popular Layar-based multiplayer game Conquar.



If you couldn’t make it out last night, have no fear, just check out the video below from last night’s ART!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/275

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SFZero Game Uses Layar to Document Real-World Missions Accomplished

Adriane Goetz February 28, 2011










SFZero
San Francisco Zero: real-world gaming.

One of the great things about Augmented Reality games is that they encourage users to get out in the real world, move around and sometimes even interact with others face-to-face (gasp!).



The mission-based game SFZero (San Francisco Zero) takes real-world gaming even further, transforming its users’ city, country and really the entire world into a playing field where creativity, guile, collaboration and imagination are rewarded with points, level-ups, badges and notoriety. While the game’s actual AR usage is fairly limited, we still think it’s a cool example of how to merge the video game world with the real world.



SFZero started in San Francisco in 2006 by friends Sean Mahan, Ian Kizu-Blair and Sam Lavigne, who had recently moved to SF from Chicago. Their goal was to get players to venture out into the city independently, make new discoveries and test personal boundaries; the result was an open-source, collaborative production game that has spread to countries across the world.










One player presents her “Fortune Not Cookies” in the form of hollowed-out eggshells.

In SFZero, players earn points by completing real-world tasks (referred to as praxis upon completion) that generally involve exploring the city, interacting with strangers, or creating some form of “public art.”



For example, “The Things We Bury For Our Friends” task requires a player to bury some sort of “treasure,” then send another player (the two must not know each other) hints, photos, etc. to find it. Another task, called “Fortune Not Cookie” requires that players put fortunes into non-traditional fortune telling objects.



Players must submit proof of completing the task, such as photos or video, to the SFZero website. The geotagged proof is added to the SFZero layer, where others can see the name, date and time the task was completed as well as the player who completed it. The layer can also launch the SFZero website for more details, comments, etc. on the completed task.



So far, more than 6,000 players have completed more than 13,000 tasks around the world. The game is almost entirely run by its players, who create tasks and moderate completions. The game is more fun the more players there are in any given city, so join SFZero and become the best tasker in town!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/238

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Season’s Greetings from Layar! What’s Your Holiday Wish?

Chris Cameron December 23, 2010

It’s that time of year again. The most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. A time to reconnect with friends and family and reflect on the past year over delicious food, thoughtful gifts and fun in the snow.



For Layar, this has been an amazing year of growth in which we have grown out of our infancy, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t have a little fun once in a while! That’s why we’ve created a special interactive layer for the Christmas holiday.



Fire up Layar on your iPhone or Android device and search the catalog for “Xmas Layar” and you’ll find a layer made for us by our friends over at C2K. No matter where you are, you are immediately encircled by photos of the entire Layar team. Clicking on one our photos will let you see Christmas wishes from each of us. If you’re feeling mischievous, feel free to toss a snowball at us. It’s okay, we won’t be mad, it’s all part of the holiday fun!



If you like you can send us your own wishes or responses via email from the layer, and keeping with the spirit of the holidays, you could win a gift from Layar. The three most original Christmas wishes we receive will be awarded with a Layar hoodie sweatshirt, so go ahead and share your wishes with us!



As for us here at Layar, we are very excited for what 2011 will bring for the community, and we can’t wait to help usher in the next wave impactful Augmented Reality experiences. Happy holidays and happy new year to all!



If you’re reading this on your mobile device, click here to immediately launch this layer!



Layer: Xmas Layar
Location: Worldwide
Developer: C2K

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/218

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Students Explore Their City with Expedition Deventer

Chris Cameron December 16, 2010

Yesterday we told you about an interactive scavenger hunt going on in Dublin, Ireland that is using Layar to help players find treasures and win prizes. These types of hunts fit nicely into the realm of Augmented Reality whether the players are searching for digital tokens or for actual educational information.



“Expeditie Deventer” (Expedition Deventer) is an interesting new project that uses Layar to focus on the latter of these two examples - helping people, namely high school students, learn more about the city of Deventer. The game was commissioned by the Public Library Deventer to teach students about the past, present and future of the city and to establish the library as the city’s information center.



The game is played by a group of students split into two teams - one which stays inside at the library and another which roams the streets of Deventer hunting down clues. The students use Layar on their smartphones to complete tasks, earn points, communicate and - most importantly - discover the city in a new way.



3D objects, images and videos can be found in various places throughout the city to help the students solve the questions and assignments. The inside team takes the clues discovered outside and researches them at the library using the Internet or other library resources.



The Expeditie Deventer project was recently awarded the prize for best online education application at the 2010 Dutch Digitaal Erfgoed (Digital Heritage) conference - a testament to the educational value that can be produced through Augmented Reality. Layar is a powerful platform for creating unique educational experiences, and its accessibility on smartphones adds an extra level of appeal to the youth in this case.



To learn more about Expeditie Deventer, check out the project’s homepage, the case study by developers Fabrique and watch the video below!





Layer: Expeditie Deventer
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Required: iPhone or Android device
More info: Expeditie Deventer Homepage
Developer: Fabrique

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/215

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Scavenger Hunt in Dublin Uses Layar to Dole Out Prizes

Chris Cameron December 15, 2010



One of the things that makes Augmented Reality unique from other mobile and digital technologies is that it is by its very nature inherently interactive. The blending of digital information with the real world makes for truly immersive experiences, and a new promotion in Dublin, Ireland is taking advantage of this in a big way.



For the grand opening of COPĀN, a new café bar modeled in the style of the ancient Mayan civilization of the same name, a week-long mobile scavenger hunt called “Find COPĀN” is being held. Players must use clues to track down the game’s treasures, which can be unlocked using Layar. The first person to find the treasure each day is awarded one of many of the contest’s prizes, which include iPads, laptops, TVs, cameras, and even a vacation in South America.



You can join the fun by visiting the Find COPĀN website on your Android or iPhone where you can sign up or login with your Facebook account. The website tracks your status and lets you access the “Navigator” which launches Layar and opens the “Find COPĀN” layer. Each day, clues regarding the whereabouts of the day’s prize are provided in the app, in a local newspaper and over the air on a local radio station.



Navigate around Dublin using Layar to find tombs, earn points and possibly unlock the treasure chest to win a prize. The game is going on now and lasts only through this weekend, so if you’re in the Dublin area, search for “Find COPĀN” in Layar and join the Augmented Reality scavenger hunt!



Layer: Find COPĀN
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Required: iPhone or Android device
More info: Find COPĀN Homepage
Developer: Syn

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/214

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