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Powerful New Interactive 3D Features for Developers

Chris Cameron June 23, 2014

Interactive 3D models have played an important role in the evolution of Augmented Reality, and today we’re making 3D even more powerful on the Layar platform.

We’ve added loads of new features that make creating engaging and interactive 3D content possible with Layar. Users can view these experience both on the Layar App for iOS and Android. We’ve also updated the Layar for Glass app to be compatible with these new developer features. Check out the video above to get an overview of the new features and see examples of how 3D can transform print and other everyday items into amazing experiences.

Virtual Showroom
The first example in the video for a virtual showroom that lets readers experience a new car model in 3D. The car rolls into position with basic programmable animation and you can tap on the doors to open and close them with our new object anchors feature. You can even get right up close to take a look inside or use the color picker to see what it looks like in your favorite color, which is made possible by the added ability to change material properties without reloading the model.

Channel Surfing
Next is a fun retro television example that showcases a pair of new features: changeable material properties (like with the car example) and video textures. The TV model shows a video texture playing right on the screen, and by tapping on the buttons of the TV you can switch channels and watch something else! This example also shows how you can now use the Pop Out feature of the Layar App with 3D models. In Pop Out, you can double tap or pinch to zoom, drag to move to model around and rotate with two fingers to spin it around.

Interactive Book Cover
AR is a powerful tool for education, and this textbook cover is a perfect example of how 3D can enhance this even further. The cover comes alive with a spinning model of the solar system with independently animated planets that rotate and revolve at their own speeds. As with the showroom example above, you can zoom in close for a better look at the smaller planets. We used a combination of changeable material properties and object anchors to make this example possible.

Video in the Round
3D domes are a great way to immerse yourself in an exotic location, and now these panoramic images can become dynamic videos playing in all directions. In this music video example, you can be the director and spin around 360º to watch the musicians dance, sing and play their instruments all around you. This example uses our new video texture feature inside of a sphere with a special video made by enCircle.

These are just a few examples of the countless ways you can use 3D models to enhance Interactive Print experiences with Layar. We have also released a new add-on (still in beta) for Blender which makes creating and converting 3D models for Layar quick and easy.

To learn more about how you can create 3D examples such as these, head on over to our Developer Documentation for detailed info. Or contact the Layar Creative Studio and let us build them for you!


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The Next Phase: Layar Joins Blippar

Quintin Schevernels June 18, 2014

The following is written by Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels.

It has been two years (almost 750 days) since I joined Layar as CEO. From the start it has been my objective to guide Layar through the next phase of its life cycle from a “sexy” startup with a huge dream and best-in-class technology to a company with a strong base of users, customers, products, business models and revenue.

It has been intense, exciting, satisfying, challenging but most of all, fun – a true startup experience.

While the market for Augmented Reality (AR) has just started to emerge, we have been able to grow in just two years to almost 100,000 publishers, brands and marketers using the Layar Creator to create Interactive Print. Next to that, we have almost 40 million downloads of the Layar App. Our platform and products are viewed by many in and outside of the industry as best-in-class.

The timing is right for the next phase. As of today (yes, I can now confirm it!), Layar is joining forces with Blippar. You can read more about it here.

Over the past years I have been very impressed by the developments at Blippar. They’ve expanded their offices to all major markets, partnered with some of the biggest brands in the world and delivered great service to create engaging AR campaigns.

I have had a number of conversations with Blippar’s CEO Ambarish Mitra recently about the future of AR and the strategy of our companies. Based on these conversations we both saw the same huge potential which I believe this acquisition will accelerate, through a powerful blend of talent, services, brands, customers, technology, products and insights.

By all definitions, together Blippar and Layar become the undisputed market leader in Augmented Reality.

I am proud of this deal, and with this step I have completed my mission at Layar. By joining forces, the conditions are right for future success. Blippar and Layar will move into the next phase of their lifecycle together.

This is good timing for me to step down as Layar’s CEO. It has been an honor and an exciting adventure. I feel very confident to leave the company in the hands of Blippar’s management team. Combined with the ambitious and talented people at Layar, this will become a success story for Augmented Reality.


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New in the Creator: Easy Poll Creation

Chris Cameron June 4, 2014

As we continue to receive a great amount of feedback and requests from users of the Layar Creator, we are excited today to introduce a new, highly-requested feature.

When we first released the HTML Widget feature, we made it possible to add a frame of HTML to Interactive Print, opening the door to all kinds of experiences. One of the most popular and most relevant uses of the widget was to create an interactive poll for people to vote in, but this required building the tool in HTML.

Today, we’ve added an easy, DIY poll widget to the Layar Creator, making it simple to add a basic poll to your campaign so your audience can cast their vote! With the new “Vote In a Poll” button, you can upload a few images which serve as buttons for users to tap to vote.

As seen in the video above, the new poll widget is great for giving voice to your audience to vote for a particular style or color of an item. They can see the results of the poll in real time to learn what other people think as well. You can instantly see the results of your poll by going to the “Stats” tab in your campaign.

The feature is available to everyone until July 1st, at which point it will become a Premium only feature, so try it out today!


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