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Blog: Entertainment

Scavenger Hunt in Dublin Uses Layar to Dole Out Prizes

Chris Cameron December 15, 2010

One of the things that makes Augmented Reality unique from other mobile and digital technologies is that it is by its very nature inherently interactive. The blending of digital information with the real world makes for truly immersive experiences, and a new promotion in Dublin, Ireland is taking advantage of this in a big way.

For the grand opening of COPĀN, a new café bar modeled in the style of the ancient Mayan civilization of the same name, a week-long mobile scavenger hunt called “Find COPĀN” is being held. Players must use clues to track down the game’s treasures, which can be unlocked using Layar. The first person to find the treasure each day is awarded one of many of the contest’s prizes, which include iPads, laptops, TVs, cameras, and even a vacation in South America.

You can join the fun by visiting the Find COPĀN website on your Android or iPhone where you can sign up or login with your Facebook account. The website tracks your status and lets you access the “Navigator” which launches Layar and opens the “Find COPĀN” layer. Each day, clues regarding the whereabouts of the day’s prize are provided in the app, in a local newspaper and over the air on a local radio station.

Navigate around Dublin using Layar to find tombs, earn points and possibly unlock the treasure chest to win a prize. The game is going on now and lasts only through this weekend, so if you’re in the Dublin area, search for “Find COPĀN” in Layar and join the Augmented Reality scavenger hunt!

Layer: Find COPĀN
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Required: iPhone or Android device
More info: Find COPĀN Homepage
Developer: Syn

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OMG! The zombies are coming

Redactie October 15, 2010

If you are in Manchester the next couple of weeks, you certainly have to take a closer look at The Augmented Reality Monster Hunt. The Monster Hunt combines horrorfying virtual graphics, storytelling, cool prices and AR

“There are a multitude of Monsters hiding around Manchester, invisible for the naked eye, visible in Layar. Every monster offers brave souls the chance to win a monster prize. Monsters will change every week leading up to an annual event at The Printworks on Halloween weekend. Have fun finding and slaying the Monsters. Wrrrroagh!

One of the creatives behind Monsterhunt, Glyn Jackson, wrote an excellent blogpost about using Augmented Reality (and especially Layar) as a campaign tool. Read it on cfcoffee.co.uk.

AR Game: Monsterhunt
End date: 4th November 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Required: iPhone or Android device
Website: Monsterhunt.co.uk
Developer: Gencia

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Layer of the Week: Vodafone’s Sziget Music Festival Layer

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald August 16, 2010

Vodafone Hungary worked together with their agency Soda Team to create a layer for one of the biggest music festivals in the world: Sziget. A fine exmple of a good sponsored layer. A short Q&A with Horvath Tibor, Sales and Marketing Director of Soda Team.

What is the Sziget layer about and what does it offer?
The Sziget layer provides all necessary information for visitors of Sziget 2010, one of the 10 largest festivals of the world. It is a useful tool for the visitors to get the most out of the festival.

People can find the different stages and its’ programs. Using the reality view beside the stage one can see the band currently on stage with the band’s picture, the upcoming bands and the exact time when the next band will start playing. Clicking on a band you will be guided to the bands profile page and you can get all information about the band. There are two more action buttons. “Get me there” which is very useful considering the size of the venue and the large number of programs. The other action button is the “program” which brings you to the full weekly program of the given stage. From the program item list you can again click further to the profile pages of the bands (over 300 bands are playing during the festival).

The different types of information groups are represented with different icons to make it easier for the users to navigate in the reality and the map views. There is also a filtering function that helps to screen out the most relevant pieces from the large database.

Why did you want to create such a layer?
Soda Team is a long term partner of Vodafone in Hungary. When Vodafone became the main sponsor of the Sziget festival this year, the company started to boost up the venue with innovative offers and solutions. We learned about AR technology 1,5 years ago, and followed Layar as our choice of solution provider ever since. We already made plans for other companies highlighting the possible advantages of using Layar and AR, but the possibilities of the technology where best fitting the needs of such a venue, and an innovative company as Vodafone.

What are the advantages for creating festival layers?
The advantages for users are obvious: Everybody carries his phone on the festival, but who likes the mass of paper that one needs for navigating from one stage to another. Having a complex layer, like the “Sziget Compass” makes all conventional tools of navigation look out of date.

What did you learn about creating festival layers?
One of the most important insights we learned, is that you have to make a POI (point of intrest) something complex, informative and sexy to become a real alternative for usual program guides and maps. Therefore we attached programs to the POIs and band profiles to the programs. The differentiation of the POIs by icons is unavoidable when having such a large amount of data.

The Layer Developer
The technical realization of the layer was done by mCRUMBS, run by Martin Adam. They are an “Augmented Reality Server Provider” with 15 Augmented Reality Channels Running on their servers.

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Layer of the week: Rolling Stones

maurice groenhart July 16, 2010

We’re very honored that one of the worlds biggest rock bands did their augmented reality campaign on the Layar platform. The layer is the first of it’s kind in the world and was built by Augment Reality in conjunction with Polydor Records to celebrate the succe­­ss of the recently re-released Stones’ masterpiece Exile on Main St. Stones fans will able to fly-post their streets, homes or offices with virtual interactive posters of the rock icons. We talked to Howard Ogden from Augment Reality

The Rolling Stones layer is worlds first augmented reality campaign by a major rockband. How does it feels to create such a layer for these rock legends?
Being a music aficionado, and British, of course the Rolling Stones have been a big part of my life. To be asked to create a layer for them was a huge privilege. Everything had to be perfect – as by all accounts getting approval from Mick Jagger and his management is not a walk in the park. So, throughout a series of meetings at the Universal / Polydor HQ in London we developed this concept and had many discussions on the future of AR in the music industry. The app is a first on so many levels:

  • 1st global Layar campaign for a music artist

  • 1st to use Facebook to create AR content

  • 1st to use AR for music sales (identify iPhone handsets and offer a direct link to Exile on Main St. on iTunes)

  • 1st to use AWS as a hosting environment for massive scalability.

  • and the one we’re most proud of: 1st project to be given approval by Mick almost instantly!! (”unheard of”)

The Rolling Stones layer will be filled with user generated content, therefore you decided to build a Facebook app which is connected to the layer. Can you tell us something more about this?

The Rolling Stones have over 1.4 million Facebook fans so it was a great resource to tap into for UGC. We first realized we could use FB to do this in August last year; long before this project was conceived – it’s taken a while for us to find such a forward-thinking client with good reason to commission the project. I’m sure it wont be the last layar/FB crossover we see.

How do you scale these big projects when it comes to work and traffic towards these high value layers?
For sure we had to think big. So, the only option to consider was a cloud-based infrastructure, especially since there are a lot of audio and video assets within Exile on Your Street. We implemented a load-balanced Amazon Web Service ready to cope with the upsurge in demand expected when the announcement was made on the RS fan wall. We are happy to say that Exile has enjoyed 100% uptime.

What can we expected from Augment Reality in the near future?
The Exile on Your Street app
generated quite a buzz, which, in turn, is keeping us very busy! As always we keep up to date with the very latest API changes within Layar in order to get the absolute maximum out of this platform. We plan to consolidate our position as one of the leading Layar development companies with branch office openings in US and Europe. Very exciting times.

>> Official campaign website
>> Official Facebook application

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1000th layer published

maurice groenhart July 13, 2010

Yes, we reached another milestone. Last week we reached the mark of 1000 published layers. We would like to thank all developers who are making this possible and published all their layers over the past year. Unfortunately not everybody can publish the 1000th layer and the lucky one who published it, is SystemK. We talked to Scott Halcomb from SystemK.

Scott, congratulations you’ve published the 1000th layer. Can you tell us something about this layer?

Layarで記念撮影’ allows users in Japan to showcase their artistic
abilities by placing their own 2D and 3D images into this social layer.
 By visiting this special website  Japanese users can learn all about
how to create 2D and 3D objects specifically for Layar.

Step by step
guides walk users through the production process and an easy to use 
uploader lets anyone place their creations into the layer.
Initially this layer has been populated by some of the creative
 characters designed for prefectural institutions around Japan.
Visitors to these areas can experience the creativity of local 
designers by taking pictures along with the famous characters.

Ultimately though, ‘Layarで記念撮影’ encourages users to be inventive and
 design their own characters and works of art. Soon, user generated 2D 
and 3D experiences could start popping up into the stream of Layar
 user’s all over the world.

Why did SystemK choose Layar as the platform to develop on?
It is exciting to work on projects that are the first of their kind and are on the cutting edge of technology. With Layar SystemK is able to provide users with brand new experiences that can be both informational and entertaining.

Could you tell us something about the usage of layer in JP?
Layar is being used in all sorts of different ways in Japan. Our tourism layers and several of our discovery layers have been well received. The layer used to debut an album last year was a huge success. We also continue to see steady growth in our layer populated by user generated content.

Any future plans when it comes to layer development?
We are currently testing some fantastic 3D content for a partner in real estate that wants to pre-visualize building construction. Also, we have a layer for enterprise use in the works for a major Japanese gas company.

We’re looking forward to see these layers published.

We would like to thank Scott and SystemK for all their published layers and maybe you’re the developer who publish the 2000th layer.

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