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Blog: magazines

SE og HØR’s Layar SDK Project Nominated for Three Danish Internet Awards

Chris Cameron April 12, 2016

Back in February we told you about the Scandinavian celebrity news magazine SE og HØR (“SEE and HEAR”) which had made use of the Layar SDK to bring Augmented Reality capabilities to its mobile apps.

Readers of the Danish edition of the magazine can gain access to exclusive videos, background stories, photo galleries, interactive polls, contests and much more simply by scanning the pages of the magazine.

Now we have more exciting news… SE og HØR has been given three Danish Internet Awards nominations for their unique and engaging AR integration. Here are the categories in which the project was nominated.

• Social Technology/API
The award is given to a company/organization that in the most superior way utilizes social media technology to promote engagement, sharing, publishing and/or monitoring.

• Mobile Platform
Given to the mobile app or mobile site that best exploits the mobile channel to provide users with a high degree of value when and where the user demands it.

• Branded Utility
Given to the brand that has developed a tool or service for a digital platform which gives the user a brand related added value.

“It’s nothing short of fantastic that we have been nominated so early on in our process. And not only in one but in three categories,” says the editor in chief of SE og HØR, Niels Pinborg. “Our goal has been to create loyalty between our readers, the magazine and advertisers. The fact that the industry is recognizing our work and our vision is a bonus we didn’t expect. I’m extremely proud and honored.”

The awards ceremony takes place on April 27th at the Wallmans Cirkusbygningen in Copenhagen. Best of luck to SE og HØR with their nominations!


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Scandinavian Celebrity Magazine SE og HØR Launches Layar SDK-Powered App

Chris Cameron February 19, 2016

Danish readers of SE og HØR – a television guide and celebrity news magazine – can now do far more than just “see and hear” as the publication’s name suggests.

With the easy-to-use Layar SDK, the publishers have launched Mit SE og HØR, a free mobile application for iOS and Android that brings the pages of the 75-year-old magazine to life with Augmented Reality.

Readers can gain access to exclusive videos, background stories, photo galleries, interactive polls, contests and much more simply by scanning the pages of the magazine. Extra digital content jumps off the page, providing readers with an engaging interactive experience.

“This is the next step in our development strategy to ensure that SE og HØR will continue to be the market leader in the future,” says Editor in Chief Niels Pinborg. “This means that we expand our magazine without going up in pages or price. And that means that we can pamper our most loyal customers.”

Not only is the editorial content of magazine interactive, but commercial content as well. The magazine says advertisers were eager to create more engaging digital experiences for their ads.

“It is clear that the ability to convert from print to purchase without having to leave the couch is quite interesting for our commercial partners, so here I see fairly large opportunities,” says Pinborg.

The Mit SE og HØR app is available now for free on iOS and Android in Denmark.


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South African Food Magazine Goes Interactive for the Holidays

Chris Cameron November 18, 2014

Earlier this year we shared an interesting client example from Food & Home Entertaining (F&HE, published by Caxton Magazines), a South African magazine which had partnered with grocery store chain SPAR to offer a recipe contest to readers with Interactive Print. Building off the success of that campaign, the pair have teamed up again to make a special December issue for the holidays with loads of interactive content.

Working with Layar partner Digital Narrative, F&HE has included 18 Interactive Print pages that reveal video recipe tutorials, secret ingredients, bonus recipes, tips and even prizes when scanned with the Layar App. By watching, video demos from the magazine’s food editor Thulisa Martins, readers can win vouchers to SPAR stores, as well as hand-picked kitchen gadgets and cookbook hampers.

Click on the images below and scan them with Layar to see how the holiday edition of F&HE comes to life with Layar.

“We’ve been bringing a lot of our print content to life through Augmented Reality on our various magazine titles as it enhances the reader’s experience by giving them access to exclusive content,” said Jana Kleinloog, Digital Manager at Caxton Magazine. “The Food & Home Entertaining audience is really interacting with us via this medium especially when Layar gives them useful content like cooking tutorial videos and extra recipes.”

“It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Caxton Magazines and SPAR on this interactive issue,” said Johan Walters, Director of Digital Narrative. “We are firm believers in adding magic to print and look forward to engage the mobile savvy Food & Home Entertaining reader.”

Judith Gale, Group Brands Manager for SPAR, commented that the use of Layar’s Interactive Print technology in the magazine “truly makes the dishes come alive and even easier to make.”


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Magazine Publishers Forgot How to Innovate

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald January 12, 2014

Layar Has the Solution with Interactive Print

In this era of technological change, innovation is essential to each industry. In magazine publishing there is very limited room for innovation; the focus is on survival and every penny counts. Yet to survive, investing time, resources and good people in new innovations and learning how to make them work is essential. Don’t forget that magazine publishing websites didn’t make money from the start, but making money seems to be the bar current new innovations are held to.

Interactive print is a powerful innovation that is in its last round of learnings to earn its lasting place in the publishing industry, adding value, engagement and revenue. Some publishers have been “playing around” with interactive print, and the numbers are getting more serious: at Layar we’ve seen over 50,000 executed campaigns. To help make the last round of learnings happen effectively, we’re introducing the Layar Innovation Program to accelerate the learning curve and strengthen this print-based opportunity of the magazine industry.

Innovation Is Key to Every Business
In the last 200 years, innovation hasn’t been needed as much as it is now. Most industries have relied on scalable efficiencies: larger production, lower cost and high barriers to entry. Accomplish that and innovation hasn’t been needed.

Today this has changed. Innovation is crucial for any business to last. An exponential rate of technology growth is present with market uncertainty and disruption where competition can come from around every corner. We all have heard the disruption examples in music and video, and as we all know, change is happening in publishing as well. We have also learned that the companies which remain afloat are the ones that keep innovating alongside their day-to-day business. And not just short-term innovation. It’s lasting innovation that constantly returns value.

Magazine Publishers Forgot How to Innovate
Publishers of magazines have taken a double hit in the last 10 years. New technologies disrupted their core advertising business model and their distribution platform (the Internet) and means of consumption (the Web and tablets). Add to that the economic depression in the last several years and the industry finds itself in survival mode.

The industry is focusing on survival and forgetting about innovation. Short-term results are what count in such a period of survival. Yet how does one ensure long term survival for the industry with such accelerated technology, business and market innovation? Innovation is essential. Without it, outsiders will come in and do it without the main players, just as Apple did for music and YouTube did for video.

Currently, any innovation in the magazine industry has to make money from the start. This approach may keep the bottom line steady but it doesn’t result in long-lasting innovation. It ignores the existence of a learning curve and may not even be innovation anymore but only short-lasting gimmicks. There is a lot of skepticism in the industry, even for innovation. Although this is understandable given the situation, it will not help the industry get to the next level.

Yet this wasn’t always the case. In the past, magazine publishers were able to find great long-lasting innovative models by investing in them and helping them work over time by trying, testing and learning. Websites didn’t make money from the start, nor did digital editions, commerce, merchandising and events. Enough did make money, however, eventually resulting in solid revenues.

So how do we make room in the world of publishing to keep innovating?

Layar Wants to Help Get the Mojo Back
Interactive print is a step innovation for the publishing industry. It’s the technology that links the printed world to the digital world, turning a substitute into an add on and resulting in extra value for readers and advertisers. Some have said its the best innovation since color ink jet printing was introduced. Others say its the second screen of print. The key thing is that it strengthens the core product – printed paper – and links it to the online world and all of its opportunities. It’s an alliance of strengths.

Mojo, from the movie Austin Powers.

Layar has seen over 300,000 interactive print pages published with a big part coming from magazine publishers all over the world, both big and small, as well as in the B2C, B2B and custom media arenas. We’ve learned a lot about what works and also what doesn’t. Many of the puzzle pieces on how to do interactive print well have become clear, but the whole puzzle has not been solved just yet.

We don’t want to wait for the pieces to fall into place, we want to help complete the puzzle. Layar has the learnings and insights from publishing specialists and from over 50,000 published campaigns. We want to systematically work with publishers to make interactive print successful in the long run. The Layar Innovation Program is for publishers who are ready to commit to making interactive print work for them in a lasting manner.

In the Layar Innovation Program, we bring our lessons learned, expertise and technology to the table. We ask that publishers come to the table with the magazine titles they think will work best with interactive print based on target group, content and advertisers. Publishers should be ready to work for 6-12 issues to learn and build the proof for using the technology in their business.

During the program, Layar and the publisher will work together issue-by-issue to develop and create interactive content and advertising, print calls-to-action, analytics, reporting and more. The result is the proof on how interactive print adds a lasting value to the business as well as the knowledge of activating the new channel, the amount of work needed and content types that succeed. The program requires an average investment of around €65,000 (roughly $90,000), but you can now enter to get in at no cost this year. How?

A Call for Mavericks
The reality is that print is still the core of the publishing business. While ad revenue and subscriptions are down, interactive print grows the business, enhances the business – call it what you want. Layar reinforces print. That’s why Layar is looking for the true mavericks in magazine publishing.

We are giving away 1 full membership to the Innovation Program for free! We are looking for publishers who will convince us that they are ready to join. If we’re impressed and we choose you, you’ll receive the full benefit of the Innovation Program at no cost. We want to put our money where our mouth is. If you’re ready to bring the mojo back to publishing and think you need to be part of this program, enter to win today at

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald
Layar Co-Founder


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Introducing: The Layar Creator

Chris Cameron June 5, 2012

Read our full press release here!

Many months of hard work have finally brought us to this moment, so today we here at Layar are beyond excited to finally introduce to you … the Layar Creator.

If you’ve followed our recent activity, you already know that we’ve partnered time and again with magazine and newspaper publishers to help enhance the static pages of their publications with digital content. We aided publishers by offering to produce these layers ourselves, but what you may not have known is that some of our more recent projects have been built completely by the publishers themselves.

The last two issues of LINDA. Magazine, including the L’HOMO issue, all enhanced with dozens of buttons? They did that. The vtwonen magalogue with all of its “Buy” buttons? They did it all themselves as well. The same goes for the latest Eppo comic from Senefelder, the VPRO Gids, the newspaper and more.

So how did they manage to build augmented reality layers and make their print interactive without any external development assistance? The answer, simply, is the Layar Creator.

Check out some screenshots of the Creator! Click the thumbnails to view larger photos.

The Layar Creator is a self-service web application for activating print pages with digital AR content. Now anyone can upload images or PDFs, drag-and-drop any of a number of digital buttons onto the pages and publish them on the Layar platform - all in a matter of seconds. No fancy code work needed, no developers. Absolutely anybody can do it.

There’s no software to install, and the Layar Creator’s intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to start activating pages right away. The Layar Creator takes advantage of Layar Vision technology, recognizing existing images from the pages of magazines and newspapers without the need for special markers like QR codes.

How to use the Layar Creator:

“I loved how simple it was to use the Layar Creator with our magazine,” says Monique van Beekhoven, web editor for Sanoma Media’s vtwonen magazine. Using their smartphones, readers could instantly order items in the magazine by tapping “Buy” buttons placed on the pages with the Layar Creator by Monique herself. “I really believe that anyone can do it!”

As we explained in our whitepaper on the subject a few weeks ago, early interactive print campaigns with the Layar Creator have already shown promising results. Roughly 1% of readers who discover activated pages are converted from print to digital by using Layar to interact with the pages. And on average, 20% of all digital content displayed in print through Layar is clicked by the viewer.

Having seen these results, several publishers have already signed on to incorporate the Layar Creator into their publishing process going forward. And with such a low barrier to entry, who can blame them?

“At every editorial meeting, we discuss what will be in the printed magazine and how we can connect that content with Layar,” says Jildou van der Bijl, editor-in-chief of LINDA. Magazine, which has already published three issues with pages activated using the Layar Creator.

Today, anyone can get started using the Layar Creator and all of its features for free. Starting August 1st, pricing for top level features will kick in, but for now, anything you create before then will never be charged. A free, ad-supported tier for the Creator will remain as well.

So, please, be our guest! Give the Layar Creator a try and tell us what you think! We hope you’re as excited as we are.


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