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The Voodoo Experience Layer comes with a great video

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald September 29, 2009

During Halloween weekend the Voodoo Experience festival will take place in New Orleans. Kiss, Eminem, Lenny Kravitz and lots more artists will be preforming. To help people see who is playing at which stage and to help them find more beer and the bathrooms, Zehnder made a great layer for the festival. And they made this great video to show their work.


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Layar Wins Vodafone Mobile Startup Challenge (video)

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald September 27, 2009

Last Friday, September 25th 2009, Layar won first place in the Vodafone Mobile Clicks start-up challenge and was awarded €75.000.

We are sooooo proud of our team who made this possible and very thankful to all who helped: users, developers, partners, family, friends, voters, fans..everybody!

Here is the video registration of Maarten’s pitch. At the end of the 20 minute video you will see the faces of Raimo, Claire and Maarten when it was announced they won. They were pretty excited… 8-)

Slideshare of the presentation (PDF here)

Vodafone Press Release:

Winners Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2009 announced at Picnic

This year’s winner Layar first start-up to really make augmented reality happen

25 September 2008 – At Picnic 2009, Jens Schulte-Bockum, CEO Vodafone Netherlands just announced the winners of Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2009: A competition to drive innovation by innovative mobile Internet start-ups. In a Dragon’s Den-like finale, 6 finalists battled in front of a 5-member jury for a total of EUR 150,000 in prize money. Out of a total of 100 contestants, Layar won EUR 75,000 for its successful mobile augmented reality browser. Mobypicture won EUR 50,000 for its service for sharing photos and videos via mobile. Woobius won EUR 25,000 for their online collaboration tool which simplifies file sharing and collaboration between architects and engineers.

Jens Schulte-Bockum:

“I am very pleased with this wonderful winner! It was an exciting competition and a close finish. We had many good candidates, both from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We are very proud that Vodafone Mobile Clicks has succeeded once again in stimulating so much talent and innovative ideas. That fits well with our company philosophy: a challenger company with entrepreneurial spirit. With Vodafone Mobile Clicks we empower young companies in the field of mobile Internet to further develop their innovative ideas and present them under optimal conditions to the customer, just as we do.”

Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2009 consisted of 4 selection rounds, taking place in the period April to September 2009. Everyone over 18 with a good idea for a mobile site, service or application could take part. Services of existing mobile start-ups, younger than 3 years old, could also take part.

The jury consisted of Vincent Everts (Trendwatcher and gadget expert), Rudy de Waele (Founder Mobile Monday Barcelona and Madrid and the Mobile 2.0 event), Richard Titus (new media entrepreneur), Lee Epting (Vodafone Group) and Heike Scholz (Blogger MobileZeitgeist).  Vodafone Mobile Clicks is an initiative from Vodafone designed to stimulate the mobile Internet sector in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. It is the second consecutive year that the competition has been organised in Holland and for the first time in the UK.

More information is available at


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Layar Reality Browser adds 3D to its Platform

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald September 22, 2009

Layar adds new dimensions to its platform; first demo in Amsterdam.

AMSTERDAM, September 22nd 2009 – Today Layar announced the addition of 3D capabilities to its augmented reality browser platform. With 3D, developers can tag real-life objects with 3D text, place 3D objects in real-world space, and create multi-sensory experiences. The addition of 3D enables Layar developers to create more realistic and immersive augmented reality experiences for mobile devices.

First demo at Picnic Conference in the Netherlands
The first demonstration of the Layar 3D experience will be at the Picnic Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from September 23-25. A demo application has been developed to showcase the power of 3D. Conference attendees looking for “Picnic” in the Android Market can find and download the Android application to their phone to view a virtual exhibition that delivers a multi-sensory experience of reality, augmented by 3D.

They will experience the flyby of a jumbojet, a rocket launch, and be in the middle of an arcade game - all including sound. Conference buildings are tagged with 3D texts and on the lawn several 3D objects are placed such as windmills and 3D “experience domes”. Videos and images of the demo are available at

How does it work?
Layar 3D makes use of OpenGL, the accelerometer, the GPS and the compass of the phone. Developers can place 3D objects in their content layers based on coordinates. Objects can be optimized in size and orientation to create an immersive and realistic experience. The 3D capabilities support live downloading and rendering of 3D objects. Actions such as “open link” or “play music” can be assigned to 3D objects.

November Launch for Android
Together with selected partners Layar will update their API to support 3D objects for new and existing layers. Layar will launch 3D to the public in November together with the launch of version 3.0 of the Layar Reality Browser for Android.

Raimo van der Klein, CEO:

“We are very excited to announce this groundbreaking addition to the platform. Augmented Reality is an experience medium, not just a tool or a substitute for maps. With 3D we deliver these experiences. The platform currently facilitates over 500 developers who from November onwards will have endless possibilities to create rich 3D multi-sensory Augmented Reality experiences.”

About Layar
The Layar Reality Browser displays real time digital information on top of reality in the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, tourist information, play a live game, etcetera. Layar first launched on June 16th, 2009 and announced its global launch and version 2.0 on August 17th, 2009. The Layar platform serves as an enabler for mobile location services - any database with geo-location information can easily be turned in a content layer. The Layar Reality Browser is globally available for mobile phones running the Android operating system, with iPhone 3GS coming soon. Layar is a company based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

More information

Available videos (less then 60 seconds) of technical trials and screenshots:













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ArchINFORM winner of the Developer Challenge

Dirk Groten September 6, 2009

archinform_screenshotDuring the developer workshop on August 18th, we announced the Layar Developer Challenge: Any developer who created after August 17th and submitted for publication before August 21st, midnight, would enter the Challenge. On Saturday morning, I found 7 layers in my inbox. All were ready for publication and needed at most minor changes to be approved.

These were the participants:

  • Hoppala by Marc René Gardeya: What was briefly discussed during the workshop has already been realized: An aggregator layer! Complete with provisioning form for other layer developers to add their layer. The layer hasn’t been published yet and is looking for other layers to join in :-) Go to Marc René’s website if you’re interested.

  • Miljoenhuizen (a million of houses) by Nico Schoonderwoerd ( A real estate site for the Netherlands with a potential to grow to many other countries in Europe. Very cool custom look. In the NL, search for ‘huizen’ to find this layer.

  • Openingstijden (opening hours) by Hans Nauta ( Opening times of stores nearby, like supermarkets, DIY stores, etc… The cool thing is, the app gives you the opening times for today and tomorrow.

  • Architecture Guide by Sascha Hendel (ArchInform): An original new kind of layer, that will inform you of the architecture of special buildings all over the world. And not just touristic landmarks, you’ll be amazed at the depth of their database, highlighting industrial buildings as well.

  • Verbeterdebuurt (improve your neighborhood) by Johannes La Poutré ( Give feedback about the public space around you, like garbage dumps, neglected parks or dangerous traffic situations and view the feedback of others. The site is used by local authorities to improve the public areas.

  • Hotpads by Doug Lewis ( The first real estate layer for the US. Very cool graphics, great number of houses in the database (well, enough houses for sale at this point in time…)

  • Estaciones de Servicio (gas stations in Spain) by SIGNO (Jose Millares): The first layer to find the nearest gas stations, you can search by brand (e.g. type BP and only BP stations will be shown). The very cool feature is that the actual prices of gas are shown, so you can choose the cheapest one!

We’ve had a hard time judging this competition. All layers had their particularities making them stand out compared to the current directory of layers. Should we award based on originality? Design? Usefulness? Coverage? In the end we just followed our hearts, voted and found out that we unanimously agreed on the number 1 spot: ArchINFORM.

The prize for Sascha is a white HTC Hero, which will soon make its way from Amsterdam to Berlin.


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