Layar
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Blog: Tools

Layar SDK Update: Custom Location and New Callbacks

Chris Cameron March 15, 2016

Good news! We’ve recently updated the Layar SDK as we continue to make it as easy as possible to embed your own Augmented Reality (AR) experiences into your own iOS and Android apps.

Having the freedom to customize your AR experience to fit your brand and your users’ needs has always been a cornerstone of the Layar SDK, and with this latest update we aim to continue that tradition. So what’s new in the latest version?

Custom Location Provider
You no longer need to rely solely on the built-in GPS of the user’s device to get location data. Now you can hook into any location provider that you choose. For example, you can use iBeacons to create a more accurate location-based AR experience when indoors.

A note to developers: the Layar SDK simply allows for a custom location provider but does not include any alternative providers itself, that part is up to you!

More Custom Callbacks
We’ve added more callbacks that give you more control over the look-and-feel of your experience. For Geo Layers, you can now opt to remove the compass and the messages shown at the top which usually pertain to the number of results found nearby.

These changes make it even easier to create your own customized AR experience, whether that means creating a custom look or using advanced custom location providers to make a more engaging experience.

If you’re an existing SDK user, check your inbox for instructions on updating your SDK. Or if you’re interested in using the SDK, you can try it now for free!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/597

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Making the Most of Calls-to-Action

Chris Cameron December 11, 2012

Not long ago we shared our Comprehensive Best Practices Guide for the Layar Creator - a detailed look at how to create the best and most effective interactive print campaigns.

In that guide we included tips for calls-to-action - the text and iconography you place in your print to prompt readers to scan with the Layar App. After some research, we’ve come up with even more tips for calls-to-action. Here’s what we’ve learned:

The most important elements of a call-to-action include:

  1. Smartphone icon
    The presence of a smartphone icon immediately makes readers think “mobile.” People these days instinctively reach for their smartphone when they see one, like when a friend they are with gets a text or call. Adding the icon in your print indicates how the reader can access the scannable content.

  2. Visual cues
    Using logos and visuals over text often conveys messages quicker and clearer. Including the Layar logo over simple text to direct readers to download the Layar app is key. We have also found that round shapes draw attention better than others. Color is also important, as it should compliment the content on the page while standing out to the reader.

  3. Brief description
    Users are more likely to scan your content if they know what to expect. If they like what they might find, they will be more interested in picking up their smartphone and scanning the page. Use a short, descriptive action phrase, such as “Scan to buy!” or “Scan to watch video!”

  4. Reference instructions
    Sometimes readers come across your calls-to-action without first encountering the instructions you included near the beginning of the magazine. In this case, it’s imperative to direct readers back to the instructions by including the page number (e.g., “See page 4 for instructions.”)

The image above is an ideal example of a call-to-action which includes all of these elements. It includes a smartphone icon, the Layar logo, a brief description and a reference to instructions.

An additional tip for calls-to-action deals with positioning. Logically, it’s best to place calls-to-action near the relevant printed content. As an example, if you’re offering the ability to listen to a song, it makes sense to place a call-to-action near a photo of the artist or the album artwork. The call-to-action works in tandem with the visuals of the content to encourage the reader to scan.

This also applies to spreads of content in a magazine. One might be inclined to only insert one call-to-action for two adjacent pages with digital content, but our research shows that elements on the page without the call-to-action are less likely to be viewed. To ensure all of your content is viewed, place calls-to-action on each page with content, even if they are next to each other in a magazine spread.

Despite all of these tips, there are still challenges. Right now it’s still too early and AR is still too young for readers to recognize the Layar logo alone. Including the text and icons mentioned above helps, but sometimes it’s not enough. For example, you can also add extra information about the digital content in the form of a short list placed near the call-to-action, depending on your page format and layout.

If you’d like more information on calls-to-action and other tips for making the best of your Creator campaigns, check out our Best Practices Guide.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/443

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A Comprehensive Best Practices Guide for Layar Creator

Chris Cameron September 26, 2012

Here at Layar we are invested in helping publishers create the best experience for their readers in the Layar Creator. Since the augmented reality field is relatively new to most, we’ve created a comprehensive best practices guide for creating engaging, high quality Layar Creator campaigns.

The following set of best practices encompasses the results of user tests, as well as statistics studies on a few Layar Creator campaigns. They are part of an ongoing learning process about user experience in the augmented reality field, with a focus on printed publications. You will find both general and specific recommendations, example images and useful links for more information.

Click here to download Layar’s Best Practices Guide for Layar Creator.

The guide includes:

  • Insights on instructions pages (purpose, positioning, design and communication style, etc.).
  • Calls to action in print (purpose, positioning, design, copy, the Layar logo, etc.).
  • Suggestions regarding digital content (target market, content type, principle, etc.).

We will continue to update this document and warmly welcome your feedback. We are aware that some methods work better for some publications more than others, that is why we kindly ask you to share your experience with us. We would love to hear back from you!

To leave us feedback, contact Georgia Diaconescu at georgia@layar.com.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/425

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AR Video Comes to Layar

Chris Cameron March 30, 2012

Today in the App Store and Android Play Store you’ll find our latest update: Layar 6.2!

You may not notice any changes right away, but there is one significant addition. In this version of Layar, we’re introducing what we’re calling AR Video.

Essentially, now items around you that are normally augmented with Layar Vision content (magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures and other print media) can now come alive with video right on top of them!

Imagine reading the newspaper on your way to work and watching as the box scores on the sports page turn into video highlights to catch you up on the game! With Layar 6.2 and AR Video, this is now possible.

Developers making Layar Vision content can now easily add videos to these experiences quickly and easily. Check out the video below to see a quick demo of the power of AR Video!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/371

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Out with the Old: Our Newer, Friendlier Documentation Site

Chris Cameron January 23, 2012

Here at Layar, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to provide the most comprehensive documentation and support for our developers out of any Augmented Reality platform. Today, we’re thrilled to announce another step toward making developing on the Layar platform easier than ever.

This week we launched a brand new environment to help developers find documentation about Layar. How to become a developer, how to make layers, how to implement the Player, Layar Vision help - it’s all there, and now it’s super easy to search and navigate.

The goal of the new environment is to make it easier for developers to find answers to any questions they have about Layar development. Notice the three headers “Browser & Platform,” “Player” and “Connect,” as well as the sidebar with collapsing drop-down menus. These have been arranged to make finding answers quick and easy.

The new documentation site is the perfect place to start if you have a question as a developer. Use the search functionality or navigate through topics in the sidebar. If you still can’t find your answer, head on over to our DevSupport environment and search the forums or submit a ticket there.

Our old documentation site, the PBWorks Wiki, has now been completely replaced by this new environment. Not only is the documentation now under a the roof of the Layar.com website, but the look and feel of the site are both now far more user friendly. We also have control over features and functionality, so let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions to make it even easier.

We hope you enjoy the new documentation page. Let us know what you think!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/365

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