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AR Design Class: Sander Veenhof on “Invisible AR”

Chris Cameron June 30, 2011

The Layar-sponsored augmented reality design class being taught this summer in California is still truckin’ along, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to share another video from the class.



This time we have a presentation by Layar artist Sander Veenhof, who is known for using Layar in his augmented reality art projects like the Pentagon/White House Infiltr.AR and the Museum of Modern Art AR “Uninvited” Exhibit. In this presentation to the students at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Sander explains his history as a digital artist using augmented reality, as well as his idea of “invisible augmented reality”.



He also talks about how he uses the term “Free-D” (instead of 3D) because technology has opened up a limitless world for expression. As for what exactly “invisible augmented reality” is, you’ll just have to watch his presentation to find out. So check out the video below to see Sander’s talk in front of the AR Design Class in Pasadena.



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An Augmented Reality Fairytale Game at the Efteling Theme Park

Adriane Goetz June 29, 2011










Giant Rabobank safe marks the spot [for game play] at the Efteling.

Theme parks are great places to implement Augmented Reality—they’re big, they have a different crop of visitors every day, and people go there for unique and entertaining experiences.



In fact, the Walt Disney Company was the first to rake the AR plunge, producing layers for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World last year to help guide visitors around the parks’ many attractions.



Yesterday, however, the Netherlands’ own [fairytale] theme park destination, the Efteling (in cooperation with Dutch bank Rabobank), took its augmentation to the next level by creating an AR game experience for visitors to play on their mobile devices.



The layer, Feetje en de Kluis, aka “Fairy and the Safe” in English, includes an interactive game where you have one minute to collect and save as many coins as possible while avoiding the witch, who will steal them from you if you run into her. There’s also as an interactive audio fairytale about teaching a witch to save money (presumably so she won’t have to steal anymore).



You can launch the fairytale from any location, but in order to play the game you must be in front of the giant Rabobank safe/ATM near the entrance of the Efteling.



Check out this video (in Dutch) that illustrates the Efteling’s magical Layar integration:





Longtime Layar Partner TAB Worldmedia worked with the Efteling and Rabobank to create the Feetje en de Kluis layer. You can check out other cool projects from the folks at TAB Worldmedia on their blog, or follow them on Twitter.

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The Copa América Comes to Layar

Chris Cameron June 28, 2011

Since 1916 the Copa América has been South America’s main association football tournament. 95 years later, the tournament is turning to the cutting edge field of augmented reality to help fans connect with the tournament and discover important information.



This year the tournament is hosted by Argentina, and will feature the 10 members of the CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) plus Mexico and Japan. Android users can download the official Copa América app in the Android market to keep up with tournament items like the teams, players, schedules, scores and tables.



In addition, the app also makes use of Layar to provide location-based and visual information to users. The tournament takes place at several stadiums across Argentina, and holding your phone up will point you to the various locations. If a match is in progress, the teams playing will be displayed along with the stadium icon.



Users can also access information about each participating squad in augmented reality as the flags of each nation are displayed around you no matter where you are. Check out the video below to have a look at how the developers of this application, Grupo Esfera, have blended Layar into the Copa América app! You can also access the layer from the Layar app by searching for “Copa América”.



The tournament kicks off July 1st, and don’t forget that YouTube will be providing free live coverage of the entire tournament!



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iPhone or Android Developer? Here’s an Offer You Can’t Refuse!

Chris Cameron June 27, 2011

If you hadn’t noticed yet from our barrage of tweets on the subject, Layar is looking to bring on a pair of all-star mobile developers in short order for an awesome summer project.



If you’re an experienced Android or iPhone developer and want to spend your summer in sunny Amsterdam, then we have one sweet deal for you. We’re cooking up some amazing projects for the future and need some kick-ass developers to help us knock it out of the park.



Layar is looking for the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and of course we know it will take more than asking nicely to get you here so we came up with the ultimate Amsterdam Summer Package:



Layar will fly you to Amsterdam, put you up in a cool apartment for the summer, to make sure you can get around like a local we’ll hook you up with a shiny new bike and provide you with one of the most fun work environments there is. Oh, and we’ll offer a competitive salary too.



Our office has beautiful views of both the city and the harbor, features delicious catered lunches each day and is home to some of the most friendly (and often off-beat) people out there.



Not to mention you’ll be in one of Europe’s most sizzling and entertaining cities (we’ll let you decide how to define “entertainment”) during the warmest months of the year. Amsterdam has a very large international community and every summer Amsterdam fills up with tourists because of the laid back vibe, festivals and other exciting things - and you’ll be here for all of it.



Sounding good so far?



You should have a proven track record at developing either iOS or Android applications. You should be able to show us amazing apps where you have played a major part in their development. We’re looking for the developers behind the really cool, featured apps on the app stores. Additional requirements include:


  • 3+ years of experience developing on iOS or Android.

  • 7+ years of development experience in a commercial (preferably startup) environment.

  • Strong background in C++ and Objective-C or Java.

  • Passion for making good looking apps with attention to every detail of the UI.

  • You know how to make an app responsive, fast and likable.

  • Experience working in an agile environment.



You’ll be working closely with our design and UX team, as well as with our other developers (mobile and server back-end) in Amsterdam and the Ukraine. Expect an intensive summer of coding, with the reward of building one of the coolest apps in the market.



We’re looking for people to start A.S.A.P. for two months, possibly three, and if it goes well and we like you we might ask you to stay on permanently. So let’s review…



Free plane ticket to Europe… free housing in Amsterdam… free bike… free food… terrific work environment… competitive salary… get to help create an amazing new product…



Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? What’s the catch? No catch. We just need to best iOS and Android developers out there. If that’s you, send a note to jobs [at] layar [dot] com.

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Layar Will Come Pre-Installed On the New Huawei MediaPad

Chris Cameron June 22, 2011

Earlier this week the gadget blogs on the Web lit up with the news that Huawaei - the world’s second largest mobile equipment supplier (after Ericsson) - had introduced it’s very own entrant into the tablet wars: the MediaPad.



The announcement came Monday at CommunicAsia, and most outlets correctly reported that the new 7-inch, Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet would come preloaded with Twitter and Facebook, but that’s not all. Yes, you’ll be able to tweet and connect with friends to your heart’s delight, but Layar will come preinstalled on the MediaPad as well. We are excited to partner with Huawei to place augmented reality in the hands of more people around the world.



The MediaPad is an exciting new device - the first of its kind, in fact. It’s the world’s first 7-inch tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, and boasts a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor for speedy performance. Engadget calls the MediaPad “downright luscious,” adding that “calling us ‘excited’ would be a severe understatement.”



“With the Huawei MediaPad, we are demonstrating yet again that design, functionality and performance is within anyone’s reach,” said Huawei’s Victor Xu in a press release. “The MediaPad opens up new worlds of entertainment for consumers by removing the barriers to tablet ownership, increasing access to a truly high-quality mobile entertainment experience fully integrated with cloud-based internet content.”



The Huawei MediaPad plans to ship in the United States, Layar and all, in the third quarter of this year. To get a closer look at the MediaPad, check out the promotional video below. You can also have a gander at this “sneak preview” video, which is a bit odd, but gives you a good idea of the size of the MediaPad.



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