Earlier today, Layar surpassed a monumental milestone. Across all platforms, the Layar app has now been downloaded over 25 million times!
We’re thrilled to hit the 25M mark, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, the users of the Layar app, who made this amazing feat possible. We now average 1 million downloads each month as more and more people choose Layar as their AR app of choice.
“We’re seeing that mobile augmented reality is really starting to hit the streets,” said Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels. “AR is going mainstream, and we’re leading the way thanks to our loyal user base.”
Layar is the global leader in mobile augmented reality. More people download and use the Layar app than any other AR application on the market. So thank you again for making Layar the best!
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll find in the latest version of Layar:
Point, Scan, View - We’ve streamlined and simplified the scanning experience. A redesigned welcome screen invites users to seek out Layar-enabled content, scan it and view it - making the process easier than ever.
Separating Geo from Vision - In this version, users no longer need to select a “layer” after scanning something - all relevant content appears automatically. Because this effectively breaks the concept of “Vision layers” (only Camera View, no List or Map View), Geo-Layers have been compartmentalized into their own section. Users can still browse and search for Geo-Layers in the catalogue. Additionally, Vision layers will no longer appear under the “Test” tab. To test your layers, simply scan your pages as the user will.
Improved Handling of Location Services - You no longer need to have location services enabled on your device for Vision layers to work, improving both performance and battery life! Plus, iPhone users will no longer be shown the compass calibration screen while viewing Vision layers.
Improved Messaging - We changed and added feedback messaging to users to guide them through using the app, making it the easiest experience yet. Additionally, we added a 30-second help video that quickly shows the three-step Point, Scan, View process. Users are invited to watch the video upon launching the app for the first time, and can view it again later in the Layar Settings/About screen.
More AR Video Support - AR Video - which allows users to view videos directly on top of physical objects - is now available on more devices, providing a more consistent user experience. Supported devices now include iPhone 3GS and 4, any Android device running v4.0 or higher or any dual-core Android device running anything below v4.0.
Android Redesign - To provide a more native Android experience for users, we have redesigned the app to fit with Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich guidelines. This provides familiarity to users when using Layar and other applications.
Today we’ve released an update to Layar that you can now find in both the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. While it’s a small release from 6.0 to 6.1, it’s an important one, and here’s why.
With Layar 6.1, we’re focusing more on Layar Vision, and making the experience of viewing Vision content easier and faster. To get a better understanding of the changes coming in Layar 6.1, we crafted a quick video introducing you to the new features.
As you can see, the changes are minor but important:
Firstly, when you launch Layar, you are now brought immediately to the Scan View screen. This way, when you see the View with Layar logo out in the world, you’re only one tap away from scanning and viewing great Layar Vision content. If you want to skip this screen and head to the layer catalogue, just tap the “Layers” button in the lower left corner.
And when you do scan items, you can do so by tapping anywhere on the Scan View screen. Previously we had a small area where you could tap, but now, simply tap anywhere to get started. It’s a small change, but it can go a long way to making Layar Vision a better experience.
Finally, when you scan for Vision content, the layer will immediately launch if it is the only result found. Previously we displayed a results screen, and when only one result is listed, this is unnecessary. Just another small change making the use of Layar Vision a little more user-friendly.
Layar 6.1 is available now in the App Store and Android Market, so make sure you update today!
For the last several months we’ve been working behind the scenes on a whole new project, completely separate from Layar as you know it. We’ve spent lots of time testing this idea with our private beta group, tweaking it until we felt it was just right and in the perfect state to release to the world.
Today, we are ready to show you what we’ve been working on. Introducing: Stiktu.
Stiktu is a whole new way of using augmented reality to be creative and express yourself on top of objects in the real world. It’s the app to leave your mark, share your favorite things, rate items you like and speak your mind.
With Stiktu, you can add text, images, stickers and sketches to objects around you by scanning them with your phone. Then anyone who scans that item will see your post directly on top of it, no matter where they are in the world. It works great with flat, well-lit items like posters, magazines and product packaging - the same items you see used with Layar Vision.
From the very start we always wanted to give this powerful technology to people so they could use it to their own benefit. With Stiktu we created an app that does exactly that. Now everybody can publish augmented reality content on anything they care about.
The app is now available to download in the iTunes App Store and Android Market. As we gradually roll out, the app is currently available only in Europe. To be specific, users in The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and France can download Stiktu right now.
We will have more to share about Stiktu in the coming weeks, and the rest of the world will be able to download the app very soon. Until then, we hope you take a moment to download Stiktu and check out what we’ve been working on.
On a scale of 1-10 for exciting Layar announcements, this one goes to 11; we proudly present… Layar Vision!
With Layar Vision, digital experiences are launched from visual triggers like magazines, posters and newspapers. Layar Vision uses computer vision techniques to augment objects in the physical world.
The Layar browser can tell which objects in the real world are augmented because the visual fingerprints of the objects are preloaded into the application based upon the user’s layer selection.
When a user aims their device at an object that matches the fingerprint, the app instantaneously returns the associated AR experience.
This new functionality lets layers become truly immersive as seemingly ordinary objects come alive with interactivity.
“We are really excited about this release. Mobile devices can finally ‘see’,” said Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, Layar co-founder and General Manager. “By adding Layar Vision we are taking an important step towards making augmented reality more effective. With Layar Vision we enable developers to create easy and fast user experiences. It quickly detects multiple enriched objects around a user at any given time.”
Layar Vision can easily be added to existing location-based layers, so developers can essentially “upgrade” the layers they already have to include Layar Vision. We’ll be including this feature in our next major Layar Player update as well, allowing simple integration with standalone apps for both iPhone and Android!
To kickstart the launch of Layar Vision, we’re hosting a Layar Creation Challenge, worth $55,000 in total cash prizes! The 10 developers who create the most useful, creative or otherwise impressive layers with Layar Vision will receive anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000!
The winners will be chosen by our international jury of AR wizards.
We are releasing the Android client and publishing platform with Layar Vision enabled in beta in the coming weeks so you can start building!