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Blog: geo layers

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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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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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix App Features Layar SDK

Chris Cameron October 29, 2015

The Yas Marina Circuit, home of the upcoming 2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has worked with Flip Media and Starcom MediaVest Group to release the YasHUB app for iOS and Android with Layar’s Augmented Reality SDK built in.

The app allows visitors to scan their tickets to view additional information about the event, including day-by-day information about events around the circuit.

The YasHUB app also allows race fans to purchase tickets and stay up-to-date on the latest F1 news and social media, but also provides an interactive map of the circuit grounds that directs visitors to key points-of-interest using the Layar Geo SDK.

The new upgrade to YasHUB allows users to scan their ticket packages, resulting in an animation of all main seating areas and venues around the island being built up in 3D on their phones. Ticket holders can then select their seating area and will be shown precisely where their seats are as the animation zooms into their seating zone – allowing the user to understand in three dimensions where exactly they will enjoy the action.

Not only that, but people can use the AR technology to check out the view from their seat through a series of images on the app. The app retains the helpful navigation function so people can use their phone to find out information on key locations at the circuit by simply holding up their mobiles and looking at the landmark through their screens. Relevant information of that location is then displayed, offering an immersive digitally enhanced experience to ticket holders.

“Each year, we aim to bring something new to racing fans that enhances their enjoyment of Yas Marina Circuit during F1 weekend,” said Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marketing at Yas Marina Circuit. “The new YasHUB app uses the latest app-based Augmented Reality technology from Layar to give users a new perspective of Yas Marina Circuit. Key areas of the track will come alive on users’ mobile screens with the addition of real-time information. The YasHUB app will help Yas Marina Circuit build meaningful interactions with our thousands of global fans as we transition to our new incarnation as a media brand and content publishers.”

“Starcom was very excited to continue the collaboration with Yas Marina Circuit and Layar to improve the YasHUB app by utilising Layar’s technology to further enhance race goers experience,” said Dimitri Papadimitriou, Head of LiquidThread MENA. “With Yas Marina Circuit, we have a client that understands the digital landscape and the changes in the way people are using technology and as such we are able to bring companies like Layar to the table to produce innovative and new customer experiences.”

The Geo SDK is a powerful way to create interactive, location-based AR experiences for your audience. Visit our solutions page to learn more about the Geo SDK, or contact us if you have any questions!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/588

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Exploring a City’s Past with Augmented Reality

Chris Cameron July 18, 2014

Over the years, one of the most common uses of Layar and Augmented Reality has been to look into the past with location-specific photographs or 3D models. Whether it’s the Berlin Wall, earthquake-damaged buildings in San Francisco or just a small town in a simpler time, AR is a great way to instantly travel back in time.

It’s in this same vein that the recently created ERA Girona experience was published as a Geo Layer on the Layar App. Those visiting Girona in Spain’s Catalonia region can use the layer to take a look into the city’s past by browsing for nearby historic photos.

The layer is part of the International Augmented Med program started by geographer Laura Olivas. It is funded in part by the European Union and by the Catalan government, and the city council of Girona agreed to allow the use of the photos. The name “ERA” is actually a clever play on words, as “era” means both a period of time in English, Spanish and Catalan, as well as “it was” in Spanish and Catalan. And of course, “RA” is the abbreviation for “Realitat Augmentada.”

More than 50 photos from the turn of the 20th century display Girona’s cultural heritage, including monuments, historical buildings and daily life. Users can search for “ERA Girona” in the Layar App to launch the layer. They only need to look around them with their phone or tablet to discover and view the nearby photographs.

Mouse over this image for an example.

“Every inch of Girona’s stones has plenty of history: the old town, the jewish quarter, the walls, the cathedral, etc,” the project says. “You don’t need Augmented Reality to feel the heritage of such a historical spot. But with ERA Girona, we have collected a series of old photographs, conveniently located along the city through points of interest, enriching your visitor experience letting you compare old photographs with the current status of the same spot.”

Mouse over this image for an example.

The project has gained the attention of the local media, inspiring a segment on a local TV news show and an article in a Catalan newspaper.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/546

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Layar, Metaio and Wikitude Now Include AR Interoperability

Dirk Groten May 28, 2014

By Dirk Groten, CTO of Layar

This week, in collaboration with Metaio and Wikitude, we here at Layar are very excited to announce that we are adding cross-platform interoperability into our mobile Augmented Reality apps. This will allow location based content (like Geo Layers) to be viewed on any of three AR browser platforms – The Layar App, Metaio’s junaio browser and the Wikitude app – regardless of which platform the content was created for.

Back in February at Mobile World Congress, we came together with Metaio and Wikitude to demonstrate cross-platform interoperability during an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) workshop. As of today, these capabilities are now supported by all three platforms. We will include interoperability in version 8.3 of the Layar App which is coming soon.

Publishers of location-based AR experiences can now use a single platform to create and publish their content and can use the new “ar://” scheme to promote their work. Users can open these experiences on any of the three AR browsers.

Right now, interoperability supports simple location-based points of interest (POIs) with a title, description and image. They can have basic actions with custom labels, including link to a website, get directions, make a call or SMS, play video or audio and send an email.

Features not supported include 3D models, complex interactions (scripting, server calls) and animations. The format used to exchange AR content is CARIF (PDF), which is based on ARML 2.0.

This is a huge step towards interoperability between the various AR platforms. We view this as only a first step, as a lot of work still needs to be done to get full interoperability between the various AR browsers.

We’re happy to see that our three companies were able to work together in such a constructive way to alleviate the pain of developers of AR experiences that have to work with so many different platforms. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey, and hoping that more companies can join this effort.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/542

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