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Friday Links: Explore WW2 Sites and Kinect Hack Eye-Candy

Chris Cameron July 22, 2011

You may have noticed that the Layar blog has gone a bit quiet lately. Don’t worry, we’re still alive, but we’ve been hard at work these days on some new ideas that we think you’re really going to like. In the mean time, we thought we’d take a moment to pass on a few items that have come across our radar in the past week or so.

Personally, I’m a history buff so I would encourage you to check out the WW2Museums.com layer. It takes advantage of a huge database of locations related to World War 2, including museums, monuments, cemeteries and general points of interest from all over Europe and the United States. You can browse the database on their website as well - it may surprise you what you might find right around the corner!

We have a bit of company news to share as well, as we bid farewell to one of our earliest employees, Nanda! You maybe remember our “Meet Layar” profile of Nanda back in February, but in case you need a refresher, she has been Layar’s Office/HR/Management Assistant since nearly the very start. Nanda made sure everything around the office ran smoothly, and we will miss her dearly.

And finally, to leave you with a bit of entertainment and wonderment as we head into another summer weekend, have a look at this impressive AR demo. It’s another in a long line of intriguing hacks of the Xbox Kinect system, and it’s pretty amazing how well the 3D model sticks to the tracker used. And to top it all off, the model features live animation mimicking the motion of the person standing infront of the Kinect.

Enjoy that for now, and don’t worry, we’ll have plenty to share with you in the coming weeks. Just you wait.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/315

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New Layer Roundup: Nerds, Celebs and Bus Stops

Chris Cameron July 11, 2011

Every day we see lots of great new layers published on the Layar platform, so we thought we’d give you a quick heads-up on some that caught our attention lately. Layar is used in many ways all over the world, and here’s three layers that demonstrate this well.



Night of the Nerds - The Netherlands



NEMO, the science center located here in Amsterdam, is hosting a sequel event to last year’s first Night of the Nerds. The event features clinics, speakers and, of course, people doing science! To promote this year’s installment, NEMO has created a promotional layer that features a 3D spaceship trailing a banner for the event behind it. The theme from “The Twilight Zone” plays as you focus on the spaceship, which hovers over the location of NEMO.



Celebrity Homes - United States



Forget buying one of those over-priced star maps the next time you’re touring Hollywood, this layer has all you need. Want to join the paparazzi and stalk celebrities, but need helping tracking them down? Then look no further than the Celebrity Homes layer, available in the U.S. for all your star gazing desires. Each of the over 300 locations are in either Hollywood or Beverly Hills, and feature a link to further information about the occupant of the home. If you’re in the area, go hunting for actors, athletes and rock stars and send us your screenshots!



Autobuses Málaga - Spain



In Spain, the EMT (Spanish transit authority) and Orange have teamed up to provide bus riders with a layer featuring the location of bus stops in the city of Málaga. Now residents and visitors to the Spanish city can easily find the nearest bus stop, and as an added bonus, can view the estimated wait time for the next bus. The layer is part of a commitment to sustainability and innovation on the part of the EMT, and they hope the layer will attract more users to the bus system.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/313

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AR Design Class: Maarten Introduces Layar

Chris Cameron July 5, 2011

As the summer continues, so does the Layar-sponsored augmented reality design class being taught in California to eager design students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. To give you a closer look at the class, here’s another video into which you can sink your teeth.



Anyone who knows Layar and follows this blog knows our outspoken co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald gives talks all over the globe on a somewhat regular basis. However, you may not have seen a talk quite like this from Maarten before.



To kick off the design class’ semester, Maarten provided an introduction of Layar, the company’s history and where it stands today, some examples of the platform’s capabilities as well as a look into the future and where Layar thinks augmented reality is headed.



So check out the video below of Maarten’s talk. It’s a quick snapshot that summarizes many key and interesting points surrounding Layar and augmented reality.



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/310

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The Copa América Comes to Layar

Chris Cameron June 28, 2011

Since 1916 the Copa América has been South America’s main association football tournament. 95 years later, the tournament is turning to the cutting edge field of augmented reality to help fans connect with the tournament and discover important information.



This year the tournament is hosted by Argentina, and will feature the 10 members of the CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) plus Mexico and Japan. Android users can download the official Copa América app in the Android market to keep up with tournament items like the teams, players, schedules, scores and tables.



In addition, the app also makes use of Layar to provide location-based and visual information to users. The tournament takes place at several stadiums across Argentina, and holding your phone up will point you to the various locations. If a match is in progress, the teams playing will be displayed along with the stadium icon.



Users can also access information about each participating squad in augmented reality as the flags of each nation are displayed around you no matter where you are. Check out the video below to have a look at how the developers of this application, Grupo Esfera, have blended Layar into the Copa América app! You can also access the layer from the Layar app by searching for “Copa América”.



The tournament kicks off July 1st, and don’t forget that YouTube will be providing free live coverage of the entire tournament!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/307

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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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