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Blog: glasses

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.

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Ricky Gervais: AR is “A Load of Bollocks”

Chris Cameron March 21, 2011

If his performance at the Golden Globes earlier this year said anything about Ricky Gervais, it’s that the comedian doesn’t pull his punches or censor his opinions. Such was also the case on a recent episode of “The Ricky Gervais Show,” an animated HBO series based on the podcast of the same name.



But this time Gervais’ victim wasn’t the low-hanging fruit of Hollywood. Instead, Gervais has let it known that he thinks augmented reality is “a load of bollocks.” Gervais wasn’t pontificating on the latest trends in technology. He was engaged in a lively, comedic discussion with his fellow show stars Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in which the later was discussing his vision for the future.



After pointing out that in the future, the human species will be significantly weaker in strength, pants will be evolutionarily eliminated from existence and all of our food will be consumed in a blended paste form, Karl suggests the idea of augmented reality technology within an everyday pair of bifocals.



“Everything that’s real, you’re not looking at that anymore. This is really the future,” Karl says. “If you’re a young kid and you like the idea of living in the urban ghetto with all the graffiti on the walls, you can see that.”



“What you mean is that the stuff that’s there in the real world is being digitally reimagined in your glasses,” adds Merchant. “So what was a nice country lane is suddenly now an urban ghetto.”



Those familiar with augmented reality can immediately recognize Karl’s vision of the future, and one could say that this technology is not far off. The building blocks of such a future are being placed as we speak. But Gervais wasn’t convinced.



“Absolutely mental. Pointless. Won’t ever work. Absolutely one of the maddest things you’ve ever said,” he retorts. “That’s a load of bollocks.”



Obviously, we disagree with Mr. Gervais, but he’s still entitled to his opinion. Check out this YouTube clip of the discussion of the future (AR shows up at 3:53) or watch the embedded version after the jump and let us know what you think of Gervais’ dismissal of AR.



We’re with you, Karl!



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