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Blog: ar

New Geo Layer Helps Volunteers Find Work in Their Area

Chris Cameron January 28, 2016

VCA Amsterdam Layer Augmented Reality

The Vrijwilligers Centrale Amsterdam (Amsterdam Volunteer Center), is an organization in Amsterdam that helps people find volunteer work anywhere in the city.

Now the organization is making it even easier for people to find volunteer positions by launching their own location-based geo layer on the Layar App. By launching the VCA layer on their mobile device, workers can see the location of job opportunities appear around them with the Layar App’s Augmented Reality features.

“Very few people are aware of the large availability of volunteer jobs and how many people actually do volunteer work,” said Simone Timmer, Communication Advisor for the VCA. “Augmented reality is new and innovative, and Layar was a great way to visualise the proximity of volunteer work in Amsterdam.”

Creating a Geo Layer to benefit the cause was the idea of Geerten van Hooff, the founder of online media agency Taf Media, who also implemented it as a volunteer, Timmer says.

The VCA’s layer features over 1700 positions in the city, and in 2015 the organization helped over 7500 people find volunteer work.

To try it yourself, if you’re in Amsterdam, open the Layar App and search for “VCA”.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/595

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You Can Now Use Layar on Google Glass

Chris Cameron March 18, 2014

We are very excited to announce today that Layar can now be used on Google Glass. Check out the video below to see how it works, and if you’re a lucky owner of Glass, click here to learn how to install Layar.

As pioneers in the augmented reality space, we were extremely curious when Google first announced Google Glass. We immediately acquired multiple pairs through the Glass Explorer program and have been experimenting and hacking with how this new technology and UI fits with Layar and augmented reality.

From this hacking, we are now able to bring the full power of the Layar App to Google Glass. By just saying “Ok Glass, scan this,” Glass will capture what you’re looking at and match it against the content in our system – the same way the Layar App does today. Now with Layar for Glass, you can view Geo Layers, Interactive Print and QR Codes with a simple voice command.

In the video above, you can see how you can use Glass to view any of the existing AR and Interactive Print content on the Layar platform. From browsing Geo Layers like Funda’s real estate listings, to viewing movie trailers right from the poster, to seeing magazines like Glamour jump to life with video, to immersive 360-degree panoramic experiences.

 

You can view any of Layar’s nearly 6,000 Geo Layers in one of two ways: by scanning the QR code associated with the layer, or scanning a piece of Interactive Print from the Layar Creator with a Geo Layer button. If you know the ID name of a Geo Layer, go to layar.com/layers/{layerIDhere} to view that layer’s QR code.

As you look at the items in the Geo Layer, you can tap on the side of your Glass to select an item, and you can browse other items by scrolling side to side. Give it a try with some popular Geo Layers, like Funda Real Estate, Instagram Photos, Casper Aircraft Tracking and Tweeps Around. You can launch these examples on Glass by scanning the QR codes on these pages.

Speaking of QR codes… Layar for Glass makes for one heck of a QR code scanner! If you want to use Glass to view QR codes, just say “Ok Glass, scan this,” and you’re quickly viewing the content on Glass.

Glass users can now access Layar’s rapidly growing platform of Interactive Print campaigns, including magazines like Men’s Health, Inc. and Glamour, as well as newspapers, advertising, art and more. There are already over 200,000 interactive pages that can be viewed on Glass.

“For nearly five years, Layar has invited developers, designers and creators to use our platform to explore the new medium of Augmented Reality,” says Layar Co-Founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald. “With Google Glass, an important new tool has become available and we are very excited to be part of this amazing platform and explore together this new world of augmented reality.”

From a technical standpoint, we’ve modified Layar to match the UI of Glass, allowing you to interact and browse items using side-scrolling cards. By performing a two-finger tap while viewing Interactive Print, Glass will switch from the AR camera view to a “Pop Out” or fullscreen view, so you can enjoy the contest as comfortably as possible. Additionally, the technology behind the image recognition and AR has been optimized for Glass to make things as smooth as possible.

“When we first got our hands on Google Glass last summer and installed Layar on it, we quickly realized that in order to provide a truly useful experience on Glass, we needed to radically rethink our UI and optimize our technology for this new platform,” says Layar CTO Dirk Groten. “We didn’t just port Layar to Glass, but put in a tremendous amount of effort to create a dedicated app that feels like a first-class citizen on Glass. I believe we’ve created one of the most amazing apps I’ve seen to date on Glass.”

As this version of Layar is still a beta, you won’t find it in Google’s official Glassware catalogue, but installing it is very simple. To get started, download the Layar for Glass APK and read our guide on how to install it.

We will be continuously updating the app as we refine the Layar experience on Glass. If you encounter any trouble, we would love your feedback. Also, be sure to check back at Layar.com/Glass for the latest update to make sure you have the latest version of the app.

You can also contribute to the content on Google Glass right now by using the Layar Creator to make your own interactive content.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/534

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How to Make Money with Augmented Reality in Publishing

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald September 27, 2013

AR will not save print. The publishers will.

As the largest platform for augmented reality (AR) with over 9 million downloads in the U.S. and 33 million across the world, Layar has seen many publishers begin to use the innovative technology to their advantage.

There are over 55,000 publishers, marketeers and more using our online interactive print creation tool, the Layar Creator, to create and manage AR campaigns. Seventeen is one of them. So is Inc. Magazine. All of the magazines of the Parents group, Dwell and many others are using Layar, including specialized B2B titles and local newspapers.

And these aren’t “one off” experiments. Many of our clients are regular users because they make money with AR.

Based on our breadth of experience, we’ve been able to distinguish four key ways to make money with AR in publishing. Plus, we’ve also discovered the most critical factor for success. Want to know what they are?

1. Up-sell Print Ads

The biggest way publishers are boosting revenue with AR is by up-selling their advertising. Now normal print ads can be sold as premium AR ads with digital extras, including videos, slideshows, links to webpages or even social media sharing. Some even create entire interactive experiences with 3D animations and games.

Conde Nast recently used Layar in a cross-magazine deal in Vogue, Allure and many others for Kraft’s new Crystal Light product line. It was a huge hit with readers, and major publishers like Napco have also started up-selling their ads with Layar in several of their magazines.

But it’s not just glossy magazines or B2B publications. In Canada, local newspaper publisher Glacier Media shared that they plan to make an extra $7.5 million thanks to their up-selling efforts for Layar-enhanced ads. AR is a perfect fit for the company’s high-volume, low-cost ad model, as the added value of interactivity brings in additional revenue.

The key benefit of AR is additional revenue with little effort. No new websites or iPad editions need to be built. AR allows the existing ad material to be enhanced, creating a competitive advantage and bringing in new revenue.

AR lifts sales morale and advertisers keep coming back because AR is fresh, new and it works! Publishers are making money and people are interacting with the ads - some achieving several hundred thousand views from readers. In short, the advertisers are ready, it’s up to publishers to provide it.

2. Sponsored Editorial Content

Another way publishers are cashing in on AR is through sponsored editorial content enhanced with augmented reality. A good example is the recent Inc. 500 issue in which the bonus AR content has been sponsored by Chase Bank.

Several video interviews, talks and other items are added with AR to the main editorial content feature Chase ads. Each video features a pre-roll ad for Chase credit cards. Depending on the magazine, the audience and other factors, some advertisers have paid over $1,000 to have their name associated with AR content. Others have paid in the tens of thousands. The money for AR is out there.

3. Print to E-Commerce

Rodale, Meredith, Conde Nast, Hearst… it’s hard to name a large publisher that’s not adding retail and e-commerce to its offering. Simultaneously, online retailers like Mr. Porter and Thrillist began in retail and have added publishing to their activities. There is a massive convergence between print and online retail taking place, and AR is the natural way to enable both.

With AR, readers can scan a page and add items to their shopping cart, allowing them to make impulse purchases right then and there. Seventeen saw amazing results with its September issue, as it allowed young readers to scan over 220 pages and add any item to a shopping wishlist.

Dwell and AHAlife.com successfully teamed up to use Layar to offer readers a shoppable magazine experience. They even sold a $3,000 rug through AR! This year, don’t be surprised when you see holiday gift guides with print-to-mobile e-commerce enabled. It’s here now and not going away. The printed page has become a point-of-sale.

4. Charge for Production Services

Layar is a self-service platform. It provides the tools that let anyone create interactive print content. Large printers like RR Donnelley, Brown and Fry Communications are leading the charge in creating extra augmented reality content for their customers.

Publishers are doing the same. Most have production studios that either charge by the hour or as a line item in a cross-media campaign. Either way the model is simple, they charge for the work they do and get paid for it.

The Critical Success Factor

Across the board we see one critical success factor that lets all publishers make money with augmented reality.

Two words: guts and belief.

Publishers with guts and that believe in AR make it work. They see the opportunity and seize it. They aren’t the people that sit back or say “If I only had more resources I would be better.” No. They are the publishers who say that “Despite the changes in my industry, despite the fact I have no extra resources, I made extra revenue with AR.”

They dare to make change in their organization and in their publication. They are the ones that are successful. We have seen it with Glacier Media, with Dwell, with Seventeen and more. At Layar we actively seek these mavericks. We want to work with them. Which are you? A “Despite” person? Or an “If only” person?

Recently, industry pundit Bosacks commented on the idea that AR will “save the print industry.” At Layar we don’t say this. Print doesn’t need saving. Print is changing, but it’s not disappearing.

There is only one key group to steer the industry through all of this successfully: the publishers with guts and belief. The maverick publishers.

Get in touch if you’re ready to join us.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/515

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A Whole New Layar App, Logo and Website!

Chris Cameron August 15, 2013

If you’re reading this, you’ve already discovered one of three big things we’ve launched today at Layar - our new website! Today, we are also very proud to introduce both an entirely redesigned Layar App and a brand new Layar logo.

This marks the beginning of a new era for Layar as we continue to help bridge the gap between print and digital. Based on our insights as thought leaders in AR, we felt now was the time to make some big changes and take the next step forward. Here’s what’s new!

The new Layar App

The redesigned Layar App, the world’s most popular mobile AR app with over 33 million downloads, now features a sleek design and new features that make the user experience for AR easier and more friendly. With the new Recent Content feature, users can revisit a handy list of previously viewed AR content whenever they want - something no other AR app offers.

The new Layar logo and icon

The new Layar logo, which does away with the previous logo’s cloud design, is cleaner, more recognizable and claims the company’s position as the undisputed leader in augmented reality. The logo is an improvement both as a stand-alone brand and as a call-to-action in print for readers.

The new Layar website

A completely redesigned and rethought website completes the launch, creating a one-stop portal for information on augmented reality, interactive print and Layar. You’re looking at it right now! The website shows, tells, shares and lets everyone experience what AR can do for businesses and consumers. Start exploring now!

“The market for AR and interactive print has really begun to develop itself, and it is clear that Layar is fueling the ecosystem at the vanguard of this development,” says Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels.

Following the launch of the self-service Layar Creator in June of last year, we’ve seen promising month-over-month growth. Over 55,000 publishers currently use the do-it-yourself Layar Creator to add interactive digital content to the printed page. More than 200,000 interactive pages have already been published.

The Layar App continues to see more than 1 million downloads each month, and campaign engagement has reached as high as 45% among readers. Of those that use Layar to scan a print page, and astonishing 87% interact with the content on that page.

“In the next 12 to 18 months, we expect to see further acceleration in the amount of magazines, newspapers, brands and industries embracing AR and making it a part of their content and marketing strategies,” add Schevernels. “With our technology, products, knowledge and expertise, we believe that we will play a crucial role in this growth.”

AR is no longer a thing of the future, it is here now and it is real!

Download the new Layar App for iOS and Android in the App Store and Google Play Store today!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/505

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Interactive Print and User Experience

Chris Cameron May 14, 2013

As augmented reality and interactive print continue to grow, it is becoming clear that many more people now understand that a whole new world is emerging. We now have designers and engineers specifically working on AR projects, and with that comes and increasing amount of theory and best practices for AR user experience.

We recently saw this article by UX Magazine about augmented reality and user experience and we noticed how it related to interactive print in some places. In the article, authors Olli Siebelt and Michael Marina provide some starting guidelines for thinking about user experience when developing augmented reality experiences.

Consider Context
They mention first to categorize and plan your project based on the intended use case, and the same can be said for developing an interactive print campaign with Layar. 

It is important to consider differences in context when enhancing a magazine page versus and billboard ad or product packaging. The experience needs to feel natural to users, and what feels natural will vary between these different scenarios.

Real World Testing
Another tip – to go out and test in the real world before creating your project – can also be translated to interactive print campaigns. It was important for Layar Partner Limebizz to know the environment in which one of its latest campaigns would be displayed.

The bright orange mystery crate displayed in Antwerp’s central station was a very unique use of interactive print for users. Instead of holding a magazine in their hand, they were standing amidst a busy train station with varying lighting throughout the day. The results were terrific!

Design for Mobile
And finally, having a eye for design for the small screen is one of the big points made in the AR UX article. This also applies to interactive print. It’s very important that visual assets are easy to view and read on a mobile device, and that any web-based content linked to from your print is mobile-friendly.

See More In Our Guide!
These are just a few of the great tips we provide in our comprehensive Best Practices Guide! Have a look at the steps you can take toward more effective interactive print campaign creation, including:

  • Getting started with interactive print
  • Best practices for the Layar Creator
  • Concepting your campaign
  • “Dos and Don’ts” for instruction pages, calls-to-action and more
  • Testing your campaign
  • Integrating interactive print into your workflow
  • And more!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/492

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