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Russia Takes an Augmented First Look at the New Audi A1

Chris Cameron November 8, 2010

Augmented reality has a long history with advertising in the automotive industry, but Audi has taken it a step further with the launch of its A1 in Russia. People in a handful of Russian cities can use Layar to visualize how the new car will look in the natural environment using a 3D model of the snazzy ride.

The layer was created in cooperation between developers AR Door and creative agency Rodnaya Rech and is part of a broader campaign by Audi which involved a contest recently run on Facebook. Users could visit various sites around each of the cities to view the car and could enter to win a free test drive by sharing a photo of the car in Layar to the Audi A1 Facebook app.

“The challenge for us was to create some unique AR experience,” says Irina Kharseeva of AR Door. “That’s why we used in the layer 3D objects instead of simple 2D icons. Audi A1 is the first layer with 3D in Russia.”

According to AR Door, over 1,600 users registered for the Facebook group. The winners of the contest will be announced on the 9th of November.

Check out a video below of the Audi A1 layer in action, and if you’re in Russia, look around for the car using Layar!


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Meet Layar: Pambo Paschalides

Chris Cameron November 5, 2010

If you hadn’t noticed our rapidly expanding list of job openings, Layar is growing, and fast! With that, we have lots of new people around the office - myself included. I’m Chris and I’m brand new to Amsterdam and to Layar. I have been brought on board as Web Producer, so right here on the blog is where you will find me most often.

With all the new people around the office, we thought it would be great to let our community learn more about the people that work here and the experiences they all have in doing so. As I’ve realized already, working at Layar is like having a big family. Everyone is very friendly and caring. So to help you better know the Layar family, we are beginning a series of blogs profiling each employee in the office.

This week is the first entry in the series, and the lucky Layar employee that drew the short straw is Pambo Paschalides!

Pambo, who helps support Layar developers, has been working at Layar for just a few months. Pambo, 27, was born and raised on the “sunny island of Cyprus” in the Mediterranean and is the second of three children. He has an older sister, 29, who is a doctor in Athens, and a younger brother, 25, who is studying Civil Engineering in Nottingham, UK. His parents still live “happily in Cyprus,” he says.

Here’s a brief Q&A I had with Pambo.

What do you like about working at Layar?

Pambo: I was really surprised at how relaxed the environment is and how approachable people are. From day one I felt at home, and having worked at a couple of Dutch companies in the past, I didn’t think that was really possible. One thing that I still can’t get used to is eating sandwiches for lunch. I think it’s also really funny that Dutchies drink milk during lunch. I thought these things were reserved for breakfast!

What did you do before joining Layar?

Pambo: Before joining Layar I worked as a research assistant for Professor Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit, as a System Engineer at Intralot NL, and as a Software Engineer at Hyves. My work at Hyves can be seen at, I worked on the backend of the trending topics system.

What are your interests outside of Layar and technology?

Pambo: I’m a big fan of classic rock and metal music. I’m really crazy about anything from the 70s. There’s nothing like discovering an old vinyl, or a band that probably disbanded 35 years ago, but before that they released a couple of cool records. I would say my favorite bands are Rush, Rainbow and Megadeth. If you like any of them, can we hang out sometime? As embarrassing as it may sound, a movie that changed my life is “School of Rock”, with Jack Black. I rarely watch movies. But I do love documentaries about music.

So you’ve only been in The Netherlands for a few years. How has life in Amsterdam been different from back home?

Pambo: For some reason, everyone thinks I’m Italian. Sometimes I think that for North Europeans, dark hair means Italy. When I was working at Hyves I was so fed up with people coming to me and talking about Italy that I printed a t-shirt saying “Ik kom niet uit Italie.” It was a pity that even like that, it still wasn’t clear I am not Italian. Some girl came up to me once and said “I know a few words in Italian,” and my response was “That’s a shame, because I don’t know any.”

Fun Facts About Pambo

  • Pambo’s full name is Charalambos (Χαράλαμπος) which means that he “shines of happiness.”

  • Like all Cypriot boys, Pambo served in the  army after high-school for 26 months.

  • Pambo studied in Greece, earning a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering. He is currently working on a second Master’s in Software Engineering.

  • His favorite foods include Indian, Italian and Greek.

  • Al Bundy from Married with Children is his favorite TV personality, and his favorite show is South Park.

  • He hates rude and grumpy people.


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Introducing: The month of Layar Creation Tools

Chris Cameron November 4, 2010

It’s November and here at Layar it’s a special month because we are taking a moment to shine the spotlight on some really fun tools: Layar Creation Tools. What are these, you ask? Layar Creation Tools - or LCTs as we’ve started to call them around the office - are exactly what they sound like: tools that help with the creation of Layar content.

Not everyone has super-technical code-monkey abilities, but a lot of people have great ideas for content they would like to see in augmented reality. These tools make it easy for anyone to quickly place information into a layer and see it augmenting their reality within minutes.

This month, we will be showcasing some of these Layar Creation Tools here on the Layar Blog. We will provide an overview of how they work, who they are intended for, their pros and cons, etc. If you find yourself wishing you could create your own Layar content, by the end of the month you should know how to do just that. Here are some of the tools we are looking into:

Are we missing any? If you know of some great LCTs you’d like to see featured on the blog, please leave us a comment with your suggestions!! If you have experience with any of these tools, please leave us a comment as well with your thoughts on them and how you might change or improve them.

We’re excited to share some of these great tools with you all, so keep an eye on the blog for more coming soon. Happy LCT Month!


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