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Blog: android

Introducing: Stiktu

Chris Cameron December 20, 2011

For as long as Layar has been around, you’ve probably associated us with the layers of information which you can view over your world using the Layar Browser. Recently, we’ve introduced you to our new Layar Vision technology which allows you unlock interactive AR experiences by scanning images in things like magazines, posters and product packaging.

Now we’re taking things another step further.

For the last several months we’ve been working behind the scenes on a whole new project, completely separate from Layar as you know it. We’ve spent lots of time testing this idea with our private beta group, tweaking it until we felt it was just right and in the perfect state to release to the world.

Today, we are ready to show you what we’ve been working on. Introducing: Stiktu.

Stiktu is a whole new way of using augmented reality to be creative and express yourself on top of objects in the real world. It’s the app to leave your mark, share your favorite things, rate items you like and speak your mind.

With Stiktu, you can add text, images, stickers and sketches to objects around you by scanning them with your phone. Then anyone who scans that item will see your post directly on top of it, no matter where they are in the world. It works great with flat, well-lit items like posters, magazines and product packaging - the same items you see used with Layar Vision.

From the very start we always wanted to give this powerful technology to people so they could use it to their own benefit. With Stiktu we created an app that does exactly that. Now everybody can publish augmented reality content on anything they care about.

                  

The app is now available to download in the iTunes App Store and Android Market. As we gradually roll out, the app is currently available only in Europe. To be specific, users in The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and France can download Stiktu right now.

We will have more to share about Stiktu in the coming weeks, and the rest of the world will be able to download the app very soon. Until then, we hope you take a moment to download Stiktu and check out what we’ve been working on.

To keep updated on all things Stiktu, you can find updates at the Stiktu blog, or follow Stiktu on Twitter and Facebook.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/359

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Introducing: Layar Vision, and a $55,000 Creation Challenge!

Adriane Goetz August 2, 2011

On a scale of 1-10 for exciting Layar announcements, this one goes to 11; we proudly present… Layar Vision! 

With Layar Vision, digital experiences are launched from visual triggers like magazines, posters and newspapers. Layar Vision uses computer vision techniques to augment objects in the physical world. 

The Layar browser can tell which objects in the real world are augmented because the visual fingerprints of the objects are preloaded into the application based upon the user’s layer selection. When a user aims their device at an object that matches the fingerprint, the app instantaneously returns the associated AR experience. 

This new functionality lets layers become truly immersive as seemingly ordinary objects come alive with interactivity. 

“We are really excited about this release. Mobile devices can finally ‘see’,” said Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, Layar co-founder and General Manager. “By adding Layar Vision we are taking an important step towards making augmented reality more effective. With Layar Vision we enable developers to create easy and fast user experiences. It quickly detects multiple enriched objects around a user at any given time.” 

Layar Vision can easily be added to existing location-based layers, so developers can essentially “upgrade” the layers they already have to include Layar Vision. We’ll be including this feature in our next major Layar Player update as well, allowing simple integration with standalone apps for both iPhone and Android! 

To kickstart the launch of Layar Vision, we’re hosting a Layar Creation Challenge, worth $55,000 in total cash prizes! The 10 developers who create the most useful, creative or otherwise impressive layers with Layar Vision will receive anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000! 

The winners will be chosen by our international jury of AR wizards. We are releasing the Android client and publishing platform with Layar Vision enabled in beta in the coming weeks so you can start building! 

Registration is now open, so enter today! To get started, take a look at the documentation and watch our Layar Vision video for inspiration!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/316

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iPhone or Android Developer? Here’s an Offer You Can’t Refuse!

Chris Cameron June 27, 2011

If you hadn’t noticed yet from our barrage of tweets on the subject, Layar is looking to bring on a pair of all-star mobile developers in short order for an awesome summer project.



If you’re an experienced Android or iPhone developer and want to spend your summer in sunny Amsterdam, then we have one sweet deal for you. We’re cooking up some amazing projects for the future and need some kick-ass developers to help us knock it out of the park.



Layar is looking for the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and of course we know it will take more than asking nicely to get you here so we came up with the ultimate Amsterdam Summer Package:



Layar will fly you to Amsterdam, put you up in a cool apartment for the summer, to make sure you can get around like a local we’ll hook you up with a shiny new bike and provide you with one of the most fun work environments there is. Oh, and we’ll offer a competitive salary too.



Our office has beautiful views of both the city and the harbor, features delicious catered lunches each day and is home to some of the most friendly (and often off-beat) people out there.



Not to mention you’ll be in one of Europe’s most sizzling and entertaining cities (we’ll let you decide how to define “entertainment”) during the warmest months of the year. Amsterdam has a very large international community and every summer Amsterdam fills up with tourists because of the laid back vibe, festivals and other exciting things - and you’ll be here for all of it.



Sounding good so far?



You should have a proven track record at developing either iOS or Android applications. You should be able to show us amazing apps where you have played a major part in their development. We’re looking for the developers behind the really cool, featured apps on the app stores. Additional requirements include:


  • 3+ years of experience developing on iOS or Android.

  • 7+ years of development experience in a commercial (preferably startup) environment.

  • Strong background in C++ and Objective-C or Java.

  • Passion for making good looking apps with attention to every detail of the UI.

  • You know how to make an app responsive, fast and likable.

  • Experience working in an agile environment.



You’ll be working closely with our design and UX team, as well as with our other developers (mobile and server back-end) in Amsterdam and the Ukraine. Expect an intensive summer of coding, with the reward of building one of the coolest apps in the market.



We’re looking for people to start A.S.A.P. for two months, possibly three, and if it goes well and we like you we might ask you to stay on permanently. So let’s review…



Free plane ticket to Europe… free housing in Amsterdam… free bike… free food… terrific work environment… competitive salary… get to help create an amazing new product…



Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? What’s the catch? No catch. We just need to best iOS and Android developers out there. If that’s you, send a note to jobs [at] layar [dot] com.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/306

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Layar Will Come Pre-Installed On the New Huawei MediaPad

Chris Cameron June 22, 2011

Earlier this week the gadget blogs on the Web lit up with the news that Huawaei - the world’s second largest mobile equipment supplier (after Ericsson) - had introduced it’s very own entrant into the tablet wars: the MediaPad.



The announcement came Monday at CommunicAsia, and most outlets correctly reported that the new 7-inch, Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet would come preloaded with Twitter and Facebook, but that’s not all. Yes, you’ll be able to tweet and connect with friends to your heart’s delight, but Layar will come preinstalled on the MediaPad as well. We are excited to partner with Huawei to place augmented reality in the hands of more people around the world.



The MediaPad is an exciting new device - the first of its kind, in fact. It’s the world’s first 7-inch tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, and boasts a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor for speedy performance. Engadget calls the MediaPad “downright luscious,” adding that “calling us ‘excited’ would be a severe understatement.”



“With the Huawei MediaPad, we are demonstrating yet again that design, functionality and performance is within anyone’s reach,” said Huawei’s Victor Xu in a press release. “The MediaPad opens up new worlds of entertainment for consumers by removing the barriers to tablet ownership, increasing access to a truly high-quality mobile entertainment experience fully integrated with cloud-based internet content.”



The Huawei MediaPad plans to ship in the United States, Layar and all, in the third quarter of this year. To get a closer look at the MediaPad, check out the promotional video below. You can also have a gander at this “sneak preview” video, which is a bit odd, but gives you a good idea of the size of the MediaPad.



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/305

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Share Your Augmented Reality Experience With the New Layar 5.0

Chris Cameron April 11, 2011

Back in February, we released a beta version of the next iteration of the Layar Reality Browser. Today, thanks to the feedback from the beta, we are very excited to announce that Layar 5.0 is now available (in full-fledged non-beta form) for both Android and iPhone.



So what do we have for you in this version? I’m glad you asked. Layar 5.0 now features the ability to share content with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The next time you find a really cool layer, gain achievements or even spot a cool 3D model you want to take a screenshot of, you can quickly and easily share it with the world.



“This year we are continuing to look for more ways to bring augmented reality into people’s everyday lives,” said Layar CEO Raimo Van der Klein. “With today’s new version, we’re able to take a huge step closer towards that goal by giving users the chance to discover exciting new content and share cool layers and augmented screenshots with friends.”



As Raimo said, with Layar 5.0 also comes the ability for more interactivity within layers thanks to our animation capabilities. Layers are no longer limited to static content; now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation, adding a new layer of engagement to augmented reality.



Additionally, thanks to the great user feedback we’ve received, some tweaks to the user interface have been implemented into the client. We have made it easier than ever to save your favorite layers, and now we keep track of your most recently viewed layers in the “Recent” tab.



Finally, for our Symbian users, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about you. In time our Symbian client will be updated to include all of the same features found on the Android and iPhone clients.



So if you haven’t yet, be sure to update to latest version of Layar. For iPhone users, Layar only supports iOS 4.0 and higher, so if you have yet to update, you will be prompted to do so.



For those that are new, to download Layar 5.0 on your mobile device, simply navigate to either the App Store or Android Market and search for Layar!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/260

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