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Blog: science

Neurosurgery Journal Embraces Interactive Print

Chris Cameron October 16, 2012

The medical journal Neurosurgery, published by international professional health publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, has integrated Layar into the pages of its journal to enhance the reading experience.

The official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (which publishes over 3,000 pages of content each year), felt it wise to keep up with its reputation as the “most complete window on the contemporary field of neurosurgery” by implementing augmented reality into its pages. After all, the field of neurosurgery already makes us of AR technology in the operating room.

We spoke with managing editor Duncan MacRae about the experience of adding interactive print to Neurosurgery.

“We had a vision of how we wanted to link our print product with supplemental digital content, and we knew that QR codes would be a stepping stone, rather than a permanent solution,” says MacRae. “Since our usage would be based on visual recognition, rather than GPS, the release of Layar Creator was really the breakthrough we were waiting for.”

“Layar Creator has been extremely easy to use, and most importantly, the metrics provided are excellent,” he adds. “Our investment of time in creating new pages is embarrassingly small, considering that we utilize web links, videos, emails, and social media actions on almost all of our augmented images.”


So far, a handful of ads for Neurosurgery content have been activated using Layar. MacRae says going forward, they will incorporate more interactive print into commercial ads and editorial content.

“We have spent the last three months showcasing the technology to our regular stable of print advertisers,” says MacRae. “Any added value that we can provide to an advertiser gives us an advantage over our competitor publications.”

“As the journal becomes a more interactive product, the opportunities to link our print content with our online educational activities helps us better fulfill the educational mission of the journal.”


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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.


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Tracking Satellites Across the Sky

Chris Cameron December 8, 2010

Anyone who has seen the Pixar movie WALL-E remembers the scene as the lovable robot hero escapes Earth by stowing away on the outside of a spaceship. As the ship leaves the planet’s atmosphere, it bursts through an orbiting junkyard of satellites and space junk which encircle the planet.

This is actually not far from reality. You may be surprised to realize that there are actually thousands of satellites orbiting our planet at the moment. If our eyes were sharp enough, we could see dozens of satellites at any point in time, and thanks to a new layer from Italian developers G-maps, now we can.

With the new layer “Sat Tracker,” you can see where satellites are in the sky above you. Holding your phone up to the sky will reveal the locations of the satellites, which are pulled from the United States Strategic Command (USSSTRATCOM) database and updated every 5 minutes.

By tapping on a satellite you can view a wealth of information, including the identification number, country of origin, launch date, launch location and much more. You can also view detailed information from CelesTrak, as well as a map of the satellite’s trajectory over the planet.

The information provided in the layer is presented in a way that will fascinate the more scientific users while still being accessible to casual users. An experience like this truly works best in Augmented Reality. There is a difference between seeing satellites on a map and viewing them above you in the sky. Perhaps on a clear night, you can spot the satellites themselves hovering above us.

Layer: Sat Tracker
Location: Worldwide
Required: iPhone or Android device
More info: Sat Tracker by G-maps
Developer: G-maps


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