Layar Creation Tools: Skaloop
As we mentioned last week, November is the month of LCTs (Layar Creation Tools) and how better kick off the series than with a newcomer to the market of tools: Skaloop.
Skaloop is a lovely web interface designed by Spanish developers Signo. The service allows anyone to quickly add points-of-interest (POIs) to a map with metadata like names, photos, tags, categories, descriptions, links, comments and even ratings with thumbs up and down. The interface is very user friendly as it is built on top of a full-screen Google Map.
Enrollment for users is not currently open on the website, but to create an account you can request one at firstname.lastname@example.org. One you have an account, logging in allows you to create public and private POIs, and save curated lists of these spots. You can also comment and submit correction for public POIs submitted by others. If you create a private POI, only you will be able to view it on Skaloop.
To view POIs in AR view, simply launch the Layar Reality Browser and search for the “Skaloop” layer. The layer will find public POIs in your area, and if you log in with your credentials within the layer your private POIs become viewable. Clicking on a POI pulls up a menu where you can get directions to the spot, view the website linked with the POI, and view additional information like the description, photo, tags and comments. You cannot, however, comment on or rate the POI from within Layar.
Skaloop is very basic and very simple, and makes it very easy for the less tech-savvy user to get POIs online and in Layar. That said, there are many features some might be missing in Skaloop. There are no 3D objects, no custom interaction widgets, and no personal layers - but entry-level AR users may not feel they need some of these more advanced functions.
There are a few bugs with Skaloop, mainly with the uploading and viewing of images, but it does not take away from the usefulness of the tool. In the near future, Skaloop hopes to allow users to upload not only multiple images per POI, but also other media like video and audio.
Want a clean, simple interface to upload your favorite local spots and view them instantly in AR? Skaloop may be the LCT you’ve been looking for! To see it in action, check out this video.