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Ben Cerveny Talks Ambient Information Displays at ARE 2011

Chris Cameron May 27, 2011

Can’t get enough of our video coverage from Augmented Reality Event 2011? Then you’re in luck because we’ve got another great video to share with you today.Ben Cerveny gave a rather intriguing talk at ARE about ambient information displays that you’re sure to enjoy. Catch it embedded below.



Ben is a veteran UI/UX designer, prototyper and strategist, working with the likes of Flickr and Revver. Ben is currently the founder of the Amsterdam-based research foundation VURB as well as president and founder of Bloom.



In his presentation, Ben discusses how environments can become social, and how ad hoc networks can be created around those environments. It’s certainly inspiring, so check it out below and let us know what you think!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/289

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Rob Manson Presents BuildAR at the Auggies

Chris Cameron May 24, 2011

Last week’s second annual Augmented Reality Event featured many great sessions and keynotes on this budding industry, but it also hosted another year of the Auggies. The Auggies is a fun AR demo competition as teams give their quick pitch to an expert panel of judges in hopes of receiving the “Auggies Award.”



This year, judges Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Will Wright and Jaron Lanier presided over more than a dozen competing teams. One of those teams was BuildAR, a member of the Layar Partner Network.



BuildAR is an augmented reality CMS that allows anyone to quickly and easily create Layar content using a friendly user-interface. To read more about BuildAR, check out our profile of the tool from last November.



In the video below, Rob gives his pitch about BuildAR, one of Layar’s Certified Layar Creation Tools, and receives some excellent feedback from the judges panel.




Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/286

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ARE 2011: Blaise Aguera y Arcas

Chris Cameron May 23, 2011

Augmented Reality Event 2011 was again provided with an inspiring keynote from Microsoft’s Blaise Aguera y Arcas, creator of Photosynth and architect of Bing Mobile and Bing Maps.



Last year, Blaise provided ARE attendees with a keynote similar to his well-known TED talk on Photosynth. Blaise was equally impressive this year in Santa Clara, providing a keynote on big data and augmented reality - an intersection we appreciate here at Layar.



In his presentation Blaise talks about how Photosynth is evolving and he ends with his latest project: Read Write World. A very impressive project about crunching all available big data to “index, unify, and connect of the world’s geo-linked media. Consisting of a cloud-based geo-indexing, matching and processing services.” All code is intended to be open source, serving an example of what big companies can aspire to.



Once again, we’ve got video for those who couldn’t make it to ARE this year, so check out Blaise’s great talk below!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/285

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Layar’s Gene Becker at ARE 2011

Chris Cameron May 18, 2011

Last summer, Augmented Reality Event 2010 brought together companies, luminaries and members of the media to talk about the state of the industry and the vision for its future. One year later, the industry is continuing to grow and ARE 2011 is back for the second annual conference in Santa Clara, California.



The event kicked off this week and Layar is there to take part in the action! On Tuesday, Layar’s own Gene Becker took the stage to discuss the Layar platform and with the audience at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and we’ve got the whole thing on video for your viewing pleasure.



Couldn’t make it to California for ARE? Not to worry, we’ll have a couple videos coming your way featuring the Layar team at ARE. Below is the video of Gene’s presentation.





Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/282

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On Augmenting Live Events

Chris Cameron May 12, 2011

Yesterday on the Layar Twitter account, we tweeted a link to a story on FastCompany about a new product called CrowdOptic and how augmented reality may “transform live events“.



CrowdOptic has raised some money to develop it’s unique concept that I think The Unofficial Apple Weblog describes well:



“Once the CrowdOptic system is installed at a concert or sports venue, the magic happens through triangulation. At least two people need to be pointing their iPhones at the same thing, at the same time, and the GPS location, compass direction and time of day will be used to figure out the most likely image being viewed and display information on exactly that. The accuracy is dependent upon how many people are looking at the same thing.”



A unique approach, indeed, but I was simply happy to see technology moving in this general direction.



As a sports fan, I’ve always thought augmented reality could work wonders on live sports and other events, but there are many challenges here. From my experience, phones are at times rendered useless in stadiums. More arenas are providing free wifi (whose bandwidth can get clogged) but others force phone-toting fans to rely on cell networks (which also get overloaded).



For live events to be augmented, a solution to connectivity problem is needed. Granted, not every venue suffers this problem, and smaller events could likely get around it. And it’s probably not even as widespread an issue as I may think. Regardless, solutions will come in time, just as the technology to provide more immersive experiences at live events will mature.



And as it does, just imagine the possibilities.



An example I’ve always loved is this video, which explores the possibility of a virtual offsides line during a football match. Simply hold up your phone and the line follows the further man back, turning green or red if the man is onside or not.



What if all the visual information available to TV viewers watching sports at home could appear before your eyes from your seat in the stadium, arena, gymnasium or ballpark? See that infamous yellow first-down line during a football game, or perhaps a projection of where a batter is most likely to hit the next pitch based on his past at-bats. Or see where the olympian in the swim meet or 500 meter dash is stacking up when compared to a world record holder.



If the massive display screens being erected at stadiums around the world say anything, it’s that team owners believe in-game entertainment is growing increasingly more important to fan retention.



As stadiums and sports leagues try to find ways to keep fans coming to see the events live rather than lounge comfortably on their big sofas in the air conditioned homes with 52” flatscreen TVs on the walls, perhaps it is augmented reality that will help usher the fans to their seats.



Image from CrowdOptic.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/278

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