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Layer of the week: Galaxy Hunter

maurice groenhart August 31, 2010

This week’s layer of the week is a scavenger hunt created by Condé Nast Digital for one of their clients Samsung. A great showcase that shows the capabilities of our platform and how it can be used to create a branded experience. We talked to Matthew Miller from Condé Nast Digital.

Condé Nast Digital created this layer for Samsung. Could you tell us something about the whole creation of this game from concept to execution? The idea was really a collaboration with Samsung’s agency, Starcom, Samsung, Condé  Nast Digital Creative Services and the sales and marketing team. Starcom came to us early on expressing a desire to do something with a scavenger hunt to help promote Samsung devices running Android. The initial shell of an idea incorporating Layar into a scavenger hunt was developed by marketing following this request. After some refining with Creative Services who explored the platform in greater detail and provided a better peek into the capabilities of Layar, the idea was refined into, what we thought at the time, would be a national hunt in various cities around the US.  Discussion with Samsung progressed and as the program gained momentum with both the client and agency, the scavenger hunt grew from an American-only opportunity to the fully realized global program it is today running in 5 cities around the world (with a sixth coming soon). At least a dozen people from sales and marketing and Condé  Nast Digital Creative Services contributed to the program. That does not include additional input from Starcom or Samsung.

This is the first time your company used our platform to create a branded augmented reality experience. Did our platform meet your expectations? The Layar platform met and in many cases surpassed our expectations.  We especially relied on the API documentation and developer map tool as well as troubleshooting with other members of the Google Group. We are excited to see the Layar platform improve and expand. It’s clear that Layar has a core of passionate developers and as the platform and API continues to grow, the community will only get stronger.  We’re excited to see the next level of Layar applications and hopefully be a part of the next wave of technology.

What could be the added value of Augmented Reality to your clients? For lack of a better term, we’re probably only seeing the very tip of the AR iceberg. There are so many potential solutions the medium provides that will allow clients to tell their brand stories in new and creative ways. Whereas we were once just limited to stationary screens and magazine pages, we now have the ability to be wherever a user happens to find him/herself and augment daily activities and experiences with organic, fun, creative and relevant data and messaging.  As the products that are able to harness this medium become more and more ubiquitous (and powerful), I think we’ll see smart brands folding incredibly targeted, visually dynamic messages into places and situations that consumers will actually welcome.  That’s the biggest benefit ­ users see this sort of thing as cool and fun, something they want to embrace, not just another sales pitch.

What are the future plans of Condé  Nast Digital when it comes to layer development? We are constantly encouraging our clients to engage with the latest technologies and tools, especially innovative platforms such as Layar. We are excited to continue working with Layar.

Michal Shapira, Executive Director of Creative Services:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Layar on this engaging, innovative game for Samsung. As we continue to craft new and exciting opportunities for our advertisers that push the envelope, we will always be interested in tapping into new technologies. We look forward to integrating Layar into future campaigns in unique and creative ways.”

The Galaxy Hunter can be played in 5 cities and you can win $2.000 in prizes.
  • New York
  • Paris
  • London
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
To play the Galaxy Hunter you just have to open the Layar Reality Browser in one of these cities, go to featured apps and tap on the Galaxy Hunter layer, and you’re on your way to winning  $2.000 in prizes. More cities to follow.


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Important announcement for developers and publishers: One environment fits all

maurice groenhart August 27, 2010

Together with the launch of version 3.1 we introduced our publishing environment to support paid layers. The two separate environments often leads to some confusion and therefore we will merge the developer and publishing environment into one environment. In this environment you can find all features. This means less hassle for you because you can develop and manage your layer(s) in one environment.

In order to make a smooth transition we recommend you to create a publishers account - if you still don’t have one. How to create a publishers account can be found here. On this page you can also find an overview of the basics of our publishers environment. If you already have a publisher account you won’t have to take any actions!

The migration of these two environments is scheduled for September. On the 16th of September we will organize a webinar to talk you through this new environment and explain you all the basics. After the webinar there will be room for questions. So don’t miss this one!

Webinar - New publishing/developers environment

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CEST


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Layar Team BBQ was fun!

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald August 23, 2010

No we didn’t augment the hamburgers, or the sausages. Or even the beer. We did have a great time with the BBQ to kick start all who were back after the summer vacation. Kids, pets and significant others were there too. Check them out in this photo set.


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Layar in the US – Stop 2: San Francisco

Claire Boonstra August 20, 2010

A representation of the Layar team (Claire, Matt, Maurice) plus Marc from Hoppala were in the US last week. After having spent some fantastic days in New York (check here for the blogpost), we had a very nice (yet short) stay in San Francisco. Our minds are still boggling - what a fantastic city, crowd and attitude!

Layar Partner NetworkLike the NYC version, the SFO visit was aimed at getting new dedicated Layar developers in, to bridge the gap between the huge demand from the US (in Layar users and in Big Brands wanting a layer on Layar) and the limited amount of dedicated Layar developers in the US compared to Europe. We are often being approached by Big Brands (Fortune 500 companies, major advertisers and publishers) who would like to have a layer but we now have to recommend good European developers to them - as there are too little good US developers to choose from in our Layar Partner Network (LPN).

Layar event at Adaptive Path
Highlight of our SFO visit was the Layar event, which took place at the premises of Adaptive Path. Thanks so much Kate and team for being a fantastic host!
We felt sparked by a very energetic crowd, which was highly motivated and knowledgeable. The audience consisted of many developers, agencies, some publishers, advertisers, investors, fans and friends. The ladies from Metaio were also there - I managed to get them promote Layar :-) It was fun meeting you, Noora and Liza!

We’ll be able to sign up multiple new members of the LPN of which 2 game companies and an agency specialized in AR development, who previously did mainly marker-based AR  but who will now also focus on layar. The new members will be announced in the list once all formalities are done.

In separate meetings we signed up a global Ad agency. We expected 2 people at meeting but as much as 30 people from the company had shown up, all extremely interested and full of amazing AR ideas which they will implement and execute for their fortune 500 advertisers in the coming period.

We love San Francisco
For some of us, it was our first visit to SFO. We were struck by the amazing atmosphere - everybody is willing to help, from people introducing us to their large community, wanting us to speak at their events or meetups, connecting us to important decision makers, wanting to guide us around etc. A very energetic yet laid back environment!

We didn’t have much time for sightseeing now but did a quick Tour of South Bay. We made a quick visit to the Golden Gate bridge - it was covered in clouds, but we could totally see how beautiful it must be when the sun is shining. Probably the worst part was that I didn’t have the chance to eat at (or better said: experience) In ‘n Out. ;-)

All in all many reasons to come back soon. Our first step towards building up a Layar presence in the US couldn’t have been better. Look forward to coming back!



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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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