Layar has teamed up with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF, or WNF here in the Netherlands) to help promote their campaign raising awareness about the environment.
And there’s a special celebrity guest helping us out: Carice van Houten, a Dutch actress known for her role as Melisandre in the hit television series Game of Thrones.
Thanks to our friends at Boomerang, special postcards are being distributed throughout the Netherlands featuring the famous WWF panda bear logo. If you scan the cards with Layar, a 3D Earth appears!
WWF is asking you to have some fun with their card! Scan the postcard and take a screenshot of the globe in a unique or funny way. You can see Carice’s example to get you started! Submit the photo to WNF and you could win a healthy, sustainable dinner for 2!
Check out the video below featuring Carice for more info! Good luck!
Almost a year ago we told you about (Un)seen Sculptures, and Australian augmented reality art exhibit at the Surry Hills Festival featuring 3D models created by 13 artists from across the globe. The digital exhibit returns again this year, presented by dLux MediaArts as part of Sydney Art Month, and is currently seeking submissions from artists.
If you’re not sure what a mobile 3D augmented reality art show is, (Un)seen Sculptures describes itself as “a sculpture walk composed entirely of virtual 3D works that have been ‘placed’ at specific geographic locations.” Using Layar, visitors to the exhibit can view the sculptures (and any accompanying media) with their smartphone.
To submit your 3D digital artwork, you’d better act fast, the deadline is this Saturday, February 25th. Essentially, anything that works on Layar should be accepted, but make sure to keep models below 5,000 polygons and, in general, keep any files to a low size to avoid slow load times.
Submissions should include the following:
Title of work.
Any additional subtitles to be displayed in Layar.
200 dpi image of the artwork (for printed promotional purposes).
An artist statement of short description of the work.
Link to the artist’s website.
3D files of the artwork.
Any accompanying media files.
Any submissions or questions should be sent to filmcement[at]gmail.com. For full descriptions of requirements and guidelines for submission, see this PDF. We’re looking forward to seeing what makes its way into the show this year!
At the beginning of the year, we introduced a big step forward in mobile augmented reality development - the Layar Player. This easy-to-use SDK allows those with a basic understanding of iPhone development to add fully-functional Layar AR into their very own apps by simply copying and pasting some code. Now layers don’t need to live within the Layar app itself, but can exist as their own app specially tailored to a specific purpose and experience.
Since then we’ve continued to expand our platform and enhance the functionality of Layar, and so it’s time to bring some of these improvements to the Layar Player.
We still receive questions about the new functionality of Layar 5.0, so we wanted to use this opportunity to take an in-depth look at how developers can best take advantage of the Layar platform.
To show how current layers are using these features, we will showcase these features in the context of how one in particular - the Conquar game layer - has utilized them.
With Layar 5.0, users can now connect with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. A few simple authentications and Layar users can begin sharing all kinds of Layar content with the world. Users can even connect their Layar account with Facebook and Twitter, allowing them to log in with these networks.
When browsing layers in the catalogue, users can quickly share a layer in their Twitter feed or on their Facebook wall. Users also have the option to simply email details of a layer to their contacts, or to copy a short-link to the layer for any other social use.
Inside of a layer, clicking on a spot or POI will allow users to share that point on their social networks. As with layers, a personalized tweet-style message can be added to the item when it is shared, allowing users to add their personal touch.
With Conquar - a massively multiplayer AR game of territorial control - users can “attack” spots belonging to enemy teams in order to challenge that zone’s control. As they do so, they can also share their actions with Facebook and Twitter, encouraging others to join the fight. Screenshots can also be grabbed from directly within the layer and shared just as easily.
For users, these sharing capabilities enhance the interactivity of layers by allowing them to display their exploits to the world. It also attracts others to begin using these layers, creating buzz and generating growth of usage and content of a particular layer.
For developers, social sharing makes it possible to harness the viral nature of the social web in promoting content online. By encouraging users to share layers and content, developers can quickly and easily get their name out to public and to people who might be interested in using their layers.
Developers themselves can also promote their own layers by using the sharing functionality built directly into Layar. It is also possible to grab the data being shared, like screenshots, and aggregate it on a third-party website, creating a portal for your layer’s users to save, comment, rate, and explore items they’ve shared.
Another key component of Layar 5.0 is the inclusion of animation. Previously, 3D and 2D objects within layers were relegated to a life of paralysis. They simply sat in their position in the real world, limiting their ability to catch your eye and encourage interaction.
Now, however, any object in layer can come alive with animation. When spots appear in your vision as you experience the world through augmented reality, they can now drop into the screen, or grow in size or spin around. It’s a small change, but it goes a long way for creating a smooth blend between the real and digital worlds.
Users can also trigger animations by interacting with objects on the screen. Icons and 3D models - which can already have their own inherent animation by default - can be triggered to perform a secondary animation (such as growing, moving, rotating, etc.) as well. Additional attributes can be programmed into animations, such as changing speeds or positions over time.
These animation features have been intelligently incorporated into the Conquar game layer. The game shows icons representing locations to be conquered, and these icons grow in size when you focus on one. It’s almost as if the enemy icon is bearing down on your location, prompting you to attack it! It is also far easier to determine which icon you are currently viewing in the bottom info bar. Upon clicking one of the icons, it will spin in a slow circle as you view its info.
Putting it all together…
We’ve put together a video that sums up all of the great features of Layar 5.0, including the implementation in the Conquar game layer. You can see that video embedded below.
Developers can use these new features to create engaging and interactive augmented reality experiences for users on the Layar platform, but if you’d rather host your own app, the updated Layar Player SDK lets you do just that.
We’ve all got a little freak and geek in us, and there is no prouder community of nerds out there than the fans of the epic saga that is Star Wars.
Star Wars fans come in all shapes and sizes and hail from all around the world - including Logroño, a city in the north of Spain.
Last week, the city’s residents celebrated “Frikoño 2011” - a week long fiesta dedicated to all things geek. To mark the occasion they dressed up as Star Wars characters, held a 12-hour marathon viewing of the television show “Big Bang Theory,” marched through the streets in “Lord Vader” parades and even competed in “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” - a nerdy twist on a classic game.
In addition to these geeky festivities, local technology company Esidea created a layer to promote Frikoño using augmented reality. Keeping with the Star Wars fandom, the layer features detailed 3D models of classic Star Wars ship and vehicles, including the Death Star, Star Destroyers, AT AT walkers and more.
Back in February, we released a beta version of the next iteration of the Layar Reality Browser. Today, thanks to the feedback from the beta, we are very excited to announce that Layar 5.0 is now available (in full-fledged non-beta form) for both Android and iPhone.
So what do we have for you in this version? I’m glad you asked. Layar 5.0 now features the ability to share content with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The next time you find a really cool layer, gain achievements or even spot a cool 3D model you want to take a screenshot of, you can quickly and easily share it with the world.
“This year we are continuing to look for more ways to bring augmented reality into people’s everyday lives,” said Layar CEO Raimo Van der Klein. “With today’s new version, we’re able to take a huge step closer towards that goal by giving users the chance to discover exciting new content and share cool layers and augmented screenshots with friends.”
As Raimo said, with Layar 5.0 also comes the ability for more interactivity within layers thanks to our animation capabilities. Layers are no longer limited to static content; now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation, adding a new layer of engagement to augmented reality.
Additionally, thanks to the great user feedback we’ve received, some tweaks to the user interface have been implemented into the client. We have made it easier than ever to save your favorite layers, and now we keep track of your most recently viewed layers in the “Recent” tab.
Finally, for our Symbian users, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about you. In time our Symbian client will be updated to include all of the same features found on the Android and iPhone clients.
So if you haven’t yet, be sure to update to latest version of Layar. For iPhone users, Layar only supports iOS 4.0 and higher, so if you have yet to update, you will be prompted to do so.
For those that are new, to download Layar 5.0 on your mobile device, simply navigate to either the App Store or Android Market and search for Layar!