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Blog: Meet Layar

Meet Layar: Klasien van de Zandschulp

Chris Cameron December 14, 2010

We continue our series of blog posts profiling the members of the Layar team with our next interviewee: Klasien van de Zandschulp. Layar has welcomed many new fresh faces to the Amsterdam office in the last several weeks (including yours truly) and Klasien, a new addition to the user research and interaction design team, is already helping to make Layar better and easier to use.

Klasien is a native Dutch gal, and seemingly stereotypical being born on a farm in Ede.

“My parents are farmers so I was born and grew up on their farm among the cows,” she says “I have an older brother, older sister and a little brother, and they are all farmers except for my little brother. We used to walk on wooden shoes - “klompen” - but now they replaced them for plastic ones.”

Her older siblings remain farmers, but Klasien sprung free from her home to study Digital Communication and Multimedia Design in Arnhem. Following school she worked for several years at a publisher creating Websites and eBooks, but then moved on to work at Mediamatic Lab as a project manager and interaction designer.

“My previous job was at a television station where I introduced the utilization of social networks and integrated these free services into the concept for the website I was working on,” says Klasien. “Focusing on using the website alongside the TV channel, I optimized the way a user experiences the website channel streams.”

As if her work experience couldn’t get any more new media, Klasien is now improving the experiences of the users of Layar’s Augmented Reality platform. “My main goal is to create a smile on the face of the end user, and keep it there,” she says.

As for the things that keep a smile on her face, Klasien says her three biggest interests outside of technology are music, music and music. She likes DJ’ing music, going to concerts and festivals and her favorite musician is Andrew Bird (at least according to her profile).

Klasien and the user experience team have been conducting interviews and sessions with users to discover ways in which Layar can be improved. If you’d like to participate in the user testing group, email Klasien at You can also get in touch with her via her LinkedIn profile!


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Introducing Layar’s First U.S. Employee!

Chris Cameron November 29, 2010

A few weeks ago, we announced our second major round of funding, which was lead by our newest investor Intel Capital. We also took the opportunity to mention our gradual expansion to the United States, highlighting a few job openings we had opened Stateside.

Today we are proud to introduce our very first U.S.-based Layar employee: AR Strategist Gene Becker. You may actually remember that name, as we recently highlighted a project Gene is working on with historical photographs in Layar.

Previously, Gene worked in research and product development for over 20 years, including leading projects through Hewlett-Packard’s technology research unit HP Labs. He has also been a co-organizer of ARDevCamp for the last two years, as well as managing director of Lightning Laboratories.

So what will Gene be doing for Layar? As AR Strategist, Gene will be responsible for fostering the expansion of the Layar ecosystem by working with creative and digital agencies, brands, developers, data suppliers and media companies. As we begin to grow our U.S. presence we want to encourage these groups to produce high-value, cutting edge mobile AR experiences on the Layar platform, and Gene will be a key part of achieving that goal.

To learn more about Gene and his new role with Layar, check out his blog post on the news. You can also follow Gene on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn as well!


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Meet Layar: Sanne Walvisch

Chris Cameron November 23, 2010

It’s that time again to get up-close-and-personal with one of Layar’s fabulous employees. This week, we meet interim Web Channel Manager Sanne Walvisch. As her title suggests, Sanne knows her way around the Layar blog, so she’s authored her own profile for this week. So without further ado, take it away Sanne!

Hi! I’m Sanne (aka @SanneW, Sanne Eva Walvisch, ©1978 Amsterdam, the Netherlands). As interim web channel manager I am responsable for all the online marketing activities.

My parents are happily divorced and remarried. That’s why I have 2 full older brothers and 2 half younger ones. The oldest one is 45 while the youngest one just became 18, I’m exactly in the middle! Entrepreneurship and creativity runs through the veins of my family. My mum’s a jewelry designer, my father an architect and 3 of my brothers run their own creative businesses.  I grew up in Heemstede - a small and quiet town 20 km from Amsterdam.

The one thing most funny about my career is that I never finished any study for what I’m currently doing. I used to study social works, but dropped out after 2,5 years. After that I studied fashion design. During my last year I started to work as a web editor at a big Dutch weekly womens magazine. I thought it would be a good way to get myself into working at the fashion department. Big mistake! I loved working on the website and really found my passion: getting people to know new technologies. That is something I really love doing. That was already 8 years ago. After managing several online editorial offices as an online (brand) manager, I started my own business and do that on ad interim base recently. Currently I’m busy at Layar.

Working at Layar is like driving a car in 1932. There’s such an innovative, emerging, revolutionary, buzzing atmosphere at the Layar office! We don’t know for sure where Augmented Reality is going to end up and what we see is just the beginning. The opportunities are endless. That’s an amazing thing to work with.

Layar as an organization is growing rapidly. Processes are being defined and departments are being formed. The flexibility of the organization and the international group of people in the team creates a very pleasant atmosphere to work in.

As Sanne’s title also suggests, she is the temporary interim Web Channel Manager and thus we are looking to fill this position full-time. If it sounds like you might be interested, be sure to check out our vacancies and apply!


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Meet Layar: Olivier Slabbers

Chris Cameron November 15, 2010

Last week we kicked off a new series here on the Layar blog profiling members of the Layar team. This week’s victim interviewee is Olivier Slabbers, the Lead Designer here at Layar. Basically, Olivier is in charge of making sure everything involving Layar exudes a positive and pleasing aesthetic.

Olivier is a local-grown boy (relatively speaking): born in Amsterdam, raised 25 miles to the north-east in Lelystad and a current resident of Haarlem, just to the west of Amsterdam. “Olivier” is actually his middle name, his first being Albert, which is in honor of his great grandfather. His parents live part-time in France and his older brother who is married and living in Philadelphia. Oliver and his wife Sanne (a fellow Layar employee you will read about on the blog soon) have a daughter who just turned one this week.

Here’s my Q&A with Olivier!

Describe a typical day at Layar for you.

Olivier: My typical day starts somewhere around 9:30 with a big cup of coffee from the espresso bar downstairs. I’m somewhat chaotic and distracted quickly so the first thing I do is check what I have planned to do for the day. What keeps me busy most of the day is breaking my head over new features, navigation in Layar and trying to make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

What’s your favorite part of working for Layar? What has surprised you?

Olivier: Before starting at Layar I worked at an advertising agency where I worked on campaigns. At Layar I learned there is much more room for improvement when there is no pressure from a client and you know that you really are building something to last. Something that I immediately noticed is that everybody at Layar knows so well what they are doing. It’s just great to find so much knowledge and expertise in one place.

What are your interests outside of Layar and technology?

Olivier: I used to be a very fanatic competitive cyclist and ice speed skater, but since my daughter was born a year ago I haven’t ridden a millimeter. Last summer I did take kite surfing lessons and it turned out to be something I really like doing. I also used to be a heavy metal fan with a matching ‘do during my high school days.

What is something people may not know about you?

Olivier: I developed design skills while running the bicycle store where I started working as a mechanic.

If you would like to work alongside Olivier and the design team, Layar is currently looking to fill a Senior Interaction Designer position!


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Meet Layar: Pambo Paschalides

Chris Cameron November 5, 2010

If you hadn’t noticed our rapidly expanding list of job openings, Layar is growing, and fast! With that, we have lots of new people around the office - myself included. I’m Chris and I’m brand new to Amsterdam and to Layar. I have been brought on board as Web Producer, so right here on the blog is where you will find me most often.

With all the new people around the office, we thought it would be great to let our community learn more about the people that work here and the experiences they all have in doing so. As I’ve realized already, working at Layar is like having a big family. Everyone is very friendly and caring. So to help you better know the Layar family, we are beginning a series of blogs profiling each employee in the office.

This week is the first entry in the series, and the lucky Layar employee that drew the short straw is Pambo Paschalides!

Pambo, who helps support Layar developers, has been working at Layar for just a few months. Pambo, 27, was born and raised on the “sunny island of Cyprus” in the Mediterranean and is the second of three children. He has an older sister, 29, who is a doctor in Athens, and a younger brother, 25, who is studying Civil Engineering in Nottingham, UK. His parents still live “happily in Cyprus,” he says.

Here’s a brief Q&A I had with Pambo.

What do you like about working at Layar?

Pambo: I was really surprised at how relaxed the environment is and how approachable people are. From day one I felt at home, and having worked at a couple of Dutch companies in the past, I didn’t think that was really possible. One thing that I still can’t get used to is eating sandwiches for lunch. I think it’s also really funny that Dutchies drink milk during lunch. I thought these things were reserved for breakfast!

What did you do before joining Layar?

Pambo: Before joining Layar I worked as a research assistant for Professor Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit, as a System Engineer at Intralot NL, and as a Software Engineer at Hyves. My work at Hyves can be seen at, I worked on the backend of the trending topics system.

What are your interests outside of Layar and technology?

Pambo: I’m a big fan of classic rock and metal music. I’m really crazy about anything from the 70s. There’s nothing like discovering an old vinyl, or a band that probably disbanded 35 years ago, but before that they released a couple of cool records. I would say my favorite bands are Rush, Rainbow and Megadeth. If you like any of them, can we hang out sometime? As embarrassing as it may sound, a movie that changed my life is “School of Rock”, with Jack Black. I rarely watch movies. But I do love documentaries about music.

So you’ve only been in The Netherlands for a few years. How has life in Amsterdam been different from back home?

Pambo: For some reason, everyone thinks I’m Italian. Sometimes I think that for North Europeans, dark hair means Italy. When I was working at Hyves I was so fed up with people coming to me and talking about Italy that I printed a t-shirt saying “Ik kom niet uit Italie.” It was a pity that even like that, it still wasn’t clear I am not Italian. Some girl came up to me once and said “I know a few words in Italian,” and my response was “That’s a shame, because I don’t know any.”

Fun Facts About Pambo

  • Pambo’s full name is Charalambos (Χαράλαμπος) which means that he “shines of happiness.”

  • Like all Cypriot boys, Pambo served in the  army after high-school for 26 months.

  • Pambo studied in Greece, earning a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering. He is currently working on a second Master’s in Software Engineering.

  • His favorite foods include Indian, Italian and Greek.

  • Al Bundy from Married with Children is his favorite TV personality, and his favorite show is South Park.

  • He hates rude and grumpy people.


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