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Layar Infographic: Interactive Print is Booming!

Chris Cameron September 17, 2013

As interactive print continues to grow across the globe, we felt it was time to put some of Layar’s key facts down in an easily digestible format. 

The infographic below illustrates Layar’s growth and dominance in augmented reality and interactive print. Figures include total downloads of the Layar App, publishers using the Creator, campaigns and pages created, who’s using Layar, and much more!

The most impressive stat of all, however, is the 87% average click-through rate (CTR) seen from interactive print campaigns with Layar.

And, of course, it’s enhanced with Layar. Scan it with the Layar App for links and more info! You can also download and share the infographic as a PDF or JPG.

DOWNLOAD: PDF

Layar Infogrpahic

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/512

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Virtual Festival Launches with Layar Roots

Chris Cameron September 6, 2013

This weekend marks the launch of a new and unique festival.

This Saturday, Amsterdam will see the first ever virtual reality festival. Named “Zo Niet, Dan Toch” (Dutch for “If not, then anyway”), the festival promises to put “augmented reality and location-based virtual projects on the map.”

“The festival allows visitors a new way of experiencing visual arts, entertainment, film, architecture, theatre, dance and music,” the event says. “The festival explores the virtual stage where nothing is impossible and everyone has access. The ticket is already in your pocket: your mobile phone.”

Visitors can wander around the festival area in the north of Amsterdam and view various VR and AR works with their mobile phone. There are even guided iPad tours for those without a smartphone.

The festival was started by former Layar employee Klasien van de Zandschulp in collaboration with artist Sander Veenhof, whose Layar artwork you may have seen here on the blog before. Many of the festival’s projects have been built using the Layar Creator or Geo Layers.

One of the featured projects is “Pont,” a fun boat docking game developed by Layar developer Blaise Kal. Layar’s R&D lead Ronald van der Lingen will also be at the festival giving tours and demos of Google Glass.

The program for the event has been enhanced with Layar as well, including a special final page which allows for additional content, so the reader can keep reading. In one case, an exhibitor changed the location of her project, so the program was updated with the Layar Creator to show the correct information.

Looking to attend? Here’s everything you need to know…

DATE: September 7th, 2013
TIME: 13:00 to 21:00
SPECIAL EVENING PROGRAM: 18:00 to 21:00
LOCATION: Various locations in Amsterdam Noord - Info desk : Tolhuisweg 5

Make sure your bring your phone, charger and headphones!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/510

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Layar Creator Now Home to Over 20,000 Users

Chris Cameron October 29, 2012

After hitting the 25 million mark for Layar app downloads in September, we’re very excited to follow that up with another amazing milestone announcement.

Since its launch just a few short months ago, over 20,000 people have signed up to create interactive print with the Layar Creator!

We’ve seen great activity on the Creator, and our users love it. (Just look at some of the amazing reactions we got from our recent event in Toronto!) In fact, of our 20,000 editors, half have created multiple Creator campaigns. And Creator users come from all over the world, encompassing 84 different countries.

So who are these 20,000 Creator users? They are magazine publishers like VIVA, Labelmag, Discovery and Voetbal International who enhance their editorial content, catalog publishers like Philips myshop, Pelgrim and vtwonen that let readers shop directly from the printed page, book publishers like Lonely Planet that create more engaging experiences for readers, professional journal editors like Neurosurgery that connect their digital resources with their publication, public service officials like the Dutch Nature Reserve that enhance the visitor’s experience, product manufacturers like CHOCSTAR that make their product packaging interactive, and much more!

Publishers and creative editors of all kinds are taking advantage of the Layar Creator to enhance their products. Here’s what our CEO Quintin Schevernels has to say about the Creator’s early adoption.

“We are overwhelmed by the number of editors signing up. This not only shows us the tremendous potential for interactive print, but also the added value of an online self-service tool,” says Schevernels. “We see a lot of people signing up and taking advantage of the possibilities augmented reality has to offer for their business. We expect this number to keep growing.”

So a big THANK YOU to those who have signed up for the Creator and have begun taking part in the interactive print revolution! Not signed up yet? Get started here!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/433

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Thank You for 25 Million Downloads!

Chris Cameron September 17, 2012

Earlier today, Layar surpassed a monumental milestone. Across all platforms, the Layar app has now been downloaded over 25 million times!

We’re thrilled to hit the 25M mark, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, the users of the Layar app, who made this amazing feat possible. We now average 1 million downloads each month as more and more people choose Layar as their AR app of choice.

“We’re seeing that mobile augmented reality is really starting to hit the streets,” said Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels. “AR is going mainstream, and we’re leading the way thanks to our loyal user base.”

Layar is the global leader in mobile augmented reality. More people download and use the Layar app than any other AR application on the market. So thank you again for making Layar the best!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/422

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A Preview of the Layar Roadmap for This Summer

Dirk Groten July 20, 2012

The following is a blog post from Layar’s Dirk Groten.

Layar has had an exciting year since the introduction of Layar Vision last summer. Since then, we’ve made quite a few changes to our app and to the publishing platform. We changed the user interface to focus more on Layar Vision in 6.1 and added AR video in 6.2. We also introduced the Layar Creator, an easy tool to create content for Layar Vision, and we introduced a new app for user-generated AR, Stiktu

We haven’t always announced these changes much in advance, leaving our content creators in the dark about our future plans and commitments to them. Let me change this and give you a heads-up about what you can expect from us in the coming months.

Layar 7.0

The next version of the Layar app, Layar 7.0, will solve a number of issues our users are currently having:

  • By separating Vision from Geo (location-based with POIs) layers we can switch off a few sensors when using vision AR. That way you won’t be bothered anymore by requests to switch on your GPS or to wave your phone in a figure-eight pattern due to compass interference when just viewing augmented content on top of printed materials.
  • We’ll make it clearer to users that there are two sides to our app: Vision and Geo. We’ll open up in Vision (scan) mode like in Layar 6.2 but it will be clearer how to find the Geo layers. And we’re adding instructions to explain these two modes.
  • We’re changing the UI drastically on Android to comply better to the Ice Cream Sandwich UI guidelines (Android 4.x), allowing the app to behave more like a native Android app.
  • There are two API changes in Layar 7.0: In the getPOI request you’ll receive all images that were recognized instead of just one, and you can specify actions to share content specifically on Facebook or Twitter.

Let me emphasize that we are committed to continue supporting Geo layers in Layar. We strongly believe that geo-location and location-based content have an important role to play in AR now and in the future.

We will continue adding features for layer developers, both for Geo and Vision AR. When we introduced AR video in Layar 6.2, it was supported for both Vision as well as for Geo layers.

We decided to stop supporting a mix of Vision and Geo in one layer due to the confusing message to end users who didn’t understand what to do. It is still possible to link from vision to geo and vice versa by using the layar:// URL scheme (intent) if you still need to mix the two experiences.

Layar 7.0 is scheduled for release in early August.

Support for HTML Augments in Layar 7.1

So after Layar 7.0, what’s next? HTML content! Our next release after Layar 7.0 will introduce support for HTML augments. You’ll be able to create dynamic AR content by using content-type text/html for your AR objects.

This enables a whole bunch of new experiences, where the content viewed in AR is dynamic because it’s directly being fetched from the web. Let me list a couple of features we’ll support in HTML objects:

  • WebKit support of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Since we’re using WebKit to render the content, a large part of what you can do in the mobile browser (Safari and Chrome) can also be done in AR. 
  • You’ll be able to set the CSS pixel width and height of the HTML augment. The actual size of the augment in AR will be based on the existing ‘size’ parameter, like for images. 
  • You’ll have the choice to enable or disable direct user interaction with the HTML content. When enabled, the content will behave like in a normal browser. For example, if you make a poll the user can click ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in AR and directly see the result in AR. When disabled, user clicks are passed to the Layar app and the usual POI actions can be triggered. For example, you can display an up-to-date live score for a tennis match that shows a mobile page in full screen with more information when the user clicks on it.

And again this applies to both Vision and Geo layers. Layar 7.1 is scheduled for release in October. 

Layar Creator

Of course we are committed to continuously improve the Layar Creator and add features that make it even easier to publish AR on print.

  • We will make it easier to add video augments to your print. Due to some technical limitations there are currently a couple of different ways to add video. We’ll simplify the flow so you don’t have to worry about the technology anymore.
  • We’ll add more standard buttons. The email button, for example, was meant to let users share something via email, but didn’t allow you to use it for contacting you (pre-filling the recipient email address).
  • Support for HTML in Layar means we can also start adding more dynamic types of buttons in the Layar Creator. 
  • And we’re working on a way for publishers to claim exclusivity on their pages, so that you can be assured no one else can ‘hijack’ your page. This assumes you’re the exclusive copyright owner of all artwork on the page of course.

Features in the Layar Creator will be rolled out regularly in small updates, watch our Layar Creator newsletter to be informed about the dates.

So that’s what we’ve got planned for the rest of the summer. We’re excited to keep making progress and hope you’ll join us. If you’d like to provide feedback, please visit our contact form!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/410

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