While we love to focus on Interactive Print and how it can enhance the reading experience of magazines, newspapers and other printed materials, people are currently using the Layar Creator to enhance all sorts of things. Even nature.
If you’ve ever been to a national park or any other outdoor nature spot, you probably remember the information panels most locations display to provide information to readers. They’re found everywhere, even at monuments and other tourist attractions. But what if those static panels could come to life with digital content?
Take, for example, the Dutch Natuurmonumenten (Nature Reserves) in Texel. The info panels at the reserves have been augmented using the Creator to provide a guided video tour of the scenery.
Park ranger Eckard Boot hosts the videos from the very spot where the panels stand, providing answers to popular questions and details about the species of animals and plants in the various areas. So far 11 panels have been enhanced with Eckard’s videos, and they even include “View with Layar” stickers on them to let people know they can be scanned!
The most interesting thing about the Natuurmonumenten’s efforts to enhance their panels is that they did it all by themselves, including the stickers. The Layar Creator allowed them to upload photos of the panels and enhance them with links, social media buttons and, of course, Eckard’s video tours.
We love to see individuals taking the initiative and creating awesome new content with the Layar Creator. This just goes to show that there is no end to the number of ways in which the Layar Creator can be used.
Many world travelers can probably relate to the following scenario: You get to the airport two hours early (as is generally suggested) for your international flight, but end up spending most of that time sitting at the gate, twiddling your thumbs while waiting for the airplane to arrive (still beats being in line at the security check all that time, but still).
Naturally, your mobile phone gets a workout during this wait, but you can only update Facebook so many times before it loses its luster, and your friends already saw that you checked into gate C-16 and are “Sooooo excited to visit NYC!”
Thanks to KLM and a group of creative developers and designers, you can now channel that excitement into a simple, fun AR trivia game that’s targeted to your travel destination.
The Ready For Boarding layer was created for KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), and based out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport. It keeps live data of Schiphol’s flight schedule, so you can choose the exact flight you’re taking and answer trivia questions about your destination that appear as 3D objects in AR.
Near the end of World War II, the Polish Home Army fought for its capital’s freedom in the 63-day (August 1 - October 2, 1944) battle against Nazi Germany occupation known as the Warsaw Uprising.
The conflict did not end in the Polish Home Army’s favor, however, and it cost many Polish soldiers and civilians their lives. In the aftermath, Nazi soldiers and collaborators orchestrated massive looting efforts and set fire to the capital, leaving Warsaw utterly devastated.
The Warsaw Uprising Museum hosts a comprehensive collection of photographs, film, personal recounts and other historical information from the Uprising, which serves as a memorial to the soldiers and families killed during the conflict.
Starting this week, the 67th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, you can use the Warszawa’44 layer to access historical images and information linking the geographic connections between modern Warsaw and the war-torn capital in 1944.
The Warszawa’44 layer was created by the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Polish Augmented Reality company Adv.pl.
Check out the video they made to show off the layer (it’s in Polish but you still get the idea).
You may have noticed that the Layar blog has gone a bit quiet lately. Don’t worry, we’re still alive, but we’ve been hard at work these days on some new ideas that we think you’re really going to like. In the mean time, we thought we’d take a moment to pass on a few items that have come across our radar in the past week or so.
Personally, I’m a history buff so I would encourage you to check out the WW2Museums.com layer. It takes advantage of a huge database of locations related to World War 2, including museums, monuments, cemeteries and general points of interest from all over Europe and the United States. You can browse the database on their website as well - it may surprise you what you might find right around the corner!
We have a bit of company news to share as well, as we bid farewell to one of our earliest employees, Nanda! You maybe remember our “Meet Layar” profile of Nanda back in February, but in case you need a refresher, she has been Layar’s Office/HR/Management Assistant since nearly the very start. Nanda made sure everything around the office ran smoothly, and we will miss her dearly.
And finally, to leave you with a bit of entertainment and wonderment as we head into another summer weekend, have a look at this impressive AR demo. It’s another in a long line of intriguing hacks of the Xbox Kinect system, and it’s pretty amazing how well the 3D model sticks to the tracker used. And to top it all off, the model features live animation mimicking the motion of the person standing infront of the Kinect.
Enjoy that for now, and don’t worry, we’ll have plenty to share with you in the coming weeks. Just you wait.
Every day we see lots of great new layers published on the Layar platform, so we thought we’d give you a quick heads-up on some that caught our attention lately. Layar is used in many ways all over the world, and here’s three layers that demonstrate this well.
NEMO, the science center located here in Amsterdam, is hosting a sequel event to last year’s first Night of the Nerds. The event features clinics, speakers and, of course, people doing science! To promote this year’s installment, NEMO has created a promotional layer that features a 3D spaceship trailing a banner for the event behind it. The theme from “The Twilight Zone” plays as you focus on the spaceship, which hovers over the location of NEMO.
Forget buying one of those over-priced star maps the next time you’re touring Hollywood, this layer has all you need. Want to join the paparazzi and stalk celebrities, but need helping tracking them down? Then look no further than the Celebrity Homes layer, available in the U.S. for all your star gazing desires. Each of the over 300 locations are in either Hollywood or Beverly Hills, and feature a link to further information about the occupant of the home. If you’re in the area, go hunting for actors, athletes and rock stars and send us your screenshots!
In Spain, the EMT (Spanish transit authority) and Orange have teamed up to provide bus riders with a layer featuring the location of bus stops in the city of Málaga. Now residents and visitors to the Spanish city can easily find the nearest bus stop, and as an added bonus, can view the estimated wait time for the next bus. The layer is part of a commitment to sustainability and innovation on the part of the EMT, and they hope the layer will attract more users to the bus system.