Today, we are very proud to present to you version 3.0, with fantastic new tools to enable the already more than 1000 active independent content developers to create AR experiences that go far beyond answering the simple ‘where is…?’ question. This new version allows everybody with basic web development skills to create rich immersive experiences that cannot be replicated on a map, in a traditional browser or in a mobile location based application.
This blogpost explains the new features on a technical level; read on to see five cases to show you what Layar 3.0 can mean for people, organizations and brands.
Architectural showcase: the new Market Hall in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the Dutch capital of modern architecture. The latest eyecatching project by Provast is the construction of the ‘Market hall‘, a U-shaped building designed by renowned architects MVRDV. Completion is planned for 2014, but visitors and inhabitants can already see how the Market Hall looks like, simply by pointing their phone at its construction site. The 3D model enables the visitor to walk around the building and look inside - as if it was already there.
Layer developed by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) and in cooperation with IN10
Storytelling: Beatles Tour
Abbey Road in London has become famous for housing the studio where the Beatles recorded most of their albums, including their final and most successful one, “Abbey Road“. Now it is possible to see Ringo, Paul, John and George back on Abbey Road, simply by pointing your phone at the zebra crossing. After having taken some screenshots with your friend standing next to the Beatles in 3D, you can proceed to the next location on the Beatles discovery tour, which covers 42 locations. The next destination only appears after the previous location has been visited.
Layer developed by AugmentReality.co.uk
History comes alive
How often did you wonder ‘how would this place have looked like hundreds of years ago?’, while standing in Rome, Paris or New York. Layar enables re-creation of a long past reality, by displaying ancient photos overlaid on their current location or even by re-constructing the original building. Imagine you can experience the Colosseum back in its original state, see the audience sitting on the benches and hear the lions roar - as if you were teleported to a scene 1000 years ago, simply by holding up your phone and looking around you. Many of such layers are now in development and will go live in 2010.
Art, messages & fun objects
Hold up your phone and see new pieces of art, specifically created for Augmented Reality. Various artists are creating new art and new ways for people to interact with their work. Experience existing or old pieces of art in a completely new context: not in the museum but outside on the city’s main square or in a park. Or see fun objects like zeppelins and UFO’s or even messages and graffiti in unexpected locations.
Layers in development by Winvolve, Superimpose, Hoppala, Muzar.org
B2B & personalization
Layar v3.0 features easy login through cookie support, which enables personalization of your layer. This is useful in various ways. Business-to-Business purposes include a closed fleet tracking layer by Masternaut, only visible for employees. It is also useful for social layers: show only the twitterers you follow, tweet from within the layer, or see check-ins from your friends in Foursquare.
Masternaut own layer, Tweeps around layer developed by Squio
We are extemely proud of what Layar content developers across the globe have already created with Layar v3.0 - in very little time. This sets the stage for a future in which many dreams come true. Where our reality will be enriched with new objects, specifically designed for Augmented Reality. And where completely new worlds will be created.
We are only at the start of a long journey where developers, users and brands can start to explore the possibilities of this new medium - developing engaging experiences with new ways of interaction and service provisioning.
Layar v3.0 can now be downloaded free of charge from the Android Market and is available for all Android 1.5 and 1.6 devices. We will release a compatible version for the Droid as soon as possible. We have almost finished testing for Android 2.0.
A version for the iPhone 3GS is to follow after Apples approval.