Last Saturday Peter Svensson organized an Android Hackathon in Stockholm. Peter asked me to explain how to make your own layers for Layar. Some 50 developers gathered to hack a new Android app in a day. Obviously the developers came to the Hackaton to write some Java code for Android, not some PHP code or other webservices to create a Layar. So we didn’t get new layers at the end of the day.
But there were a couple of applications based on geo-coded APIs, which could easily have been made into a layer:
- A game where you have to go to all the actual crime scenes published on the Stockholm police website.
- A mobile app to show all the map data of the hotellkartan.se series of sites.
- An app to throw virtual water balloons onto your friends (or enemies) which can be seen on the map.
The advantage of having this content in Layar is the reach: Many people already have Layar installed on their phone. If you build your own app, people still need to find it amongst all the other apps. And one doesn’t exclude the other: You can have your layer POIs point to your app using intents, so that people might even discover your dedicated application using Layar.
So I hope I’ve been able to inspire developers to not just focus on building their own apps, but to look at platforms like Layar as an easy way to get their content to users.
The slides of my presentation: