Part of the Blippar Group

Blog: Meet Layar

Important note: Reserve your Webinar seat now!

maurice groenhart January 6, 2010

Later on today we will broadcast our first Layar webinar from our HQ in Amsterdam. To attend this webinar you have to reserve your webinar seat. Seats are now available (up to 1000). Use the invitation below to register.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Title: Layar Webinar
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CET

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer


Email this article

Topics webinar on the 6th of January

maurice groenhart January 4, 2010

First off all we would like to wish you all the best for 2010.

As you all know we planned our first Layar webinar for the 6th of January. We received several requests on topics some developers would like to know more of or want to discuss. We compiled the following program for this webinar and all the topics we received will be covered. There is room for questions or discussion after each topic.

  1. Welcome

  2. Why we pulled Layar from the Appstore? (update and beta testers group)

  3. Layar presentation - facts, figures, update and much more

  4. Layar Ecosystem

  5. Tips and Tricks - How to improve your layers

  6. Feedback

  7. Questions

How can I attend this webinar?

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Title: Layar Webinar
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CET

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer


Email this article

First Layar Webinar

maurice groenhart December 22, 2009

We would love to be more in touch with our Layar Content Creators: share with you our thoughts and ideas and give you the opportunity to ask us questions and give us feedback.

For this we will organize a webinar on January 6th at 17.00h Amsterdam time (CET; check here for your local time). Save the date, up to 1000 people can attend. Conceptual, commercial and technical topics will be covered, please let us know in advance if you have specific items you want to discuss you can mail them to

How can I attend this webinar?

1.  Please join my meeting, Wednesday, January 06 at 05:00 PM CET.

2.  Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

Australia: +61 (0) 2 8014 4937
Austria: +43 (0) 7 20881406
Belgium: +32 (0) 28 08 4296
Canada: +1 647 724 3554
Denmark: +45 69 91 88 69
Finland: +358 942 599 121
France: +33 (0) 182 880 462
Germany: +49 (0) 892 2061 168
Ireland: +353 (0) 14 845 982
Italy: +39 0247921241
Netherlands: +31 (0) 208 080 384
New Zealand: +64 (0) 9 925 0313
Norway: +47 21 04 29 12
Spain: +34 911829783
Sweden: +46 (0) 852 503 473
Switzerland: +41 (0) 225 3314 54
United Kingdom: +44 (0) 203 318 4724
United States: 909-259-0010
Access Code: 759-190-410
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting ID: 759-190-410

Send your topics now and see you online on the 6th of January!


Email this article

Layar at ISMAR 09: Dirk Groten reflects on his visit

Dirk Groten October 28, 2009

Layar is a young company. I’ve joined the company as CTO only 4 months ago. So the people in the world of Augmented Reality are entirely new to me and everyone at ISMAR was a new face. It’s funny to think that after 3 days of ISMAR I already feel part of the club! It’s a small world, so running around the Marriott hotel with a Layar badge quickly got me acquainted with almost everyone at ISMAR. Everyone knew Layar, many knew me by name and wanted to talk with me, showing how much the new startups of 2009 like Layar have captured the minds of people and given a new impulse to Augmented Reality as a whole. And many presentations started by mentioning Wikitude and Layar as the companies that created a paradigm shift in AR for 2009, moving it in the eyes of the general public away from the marker-based 3D football players that you could see last year.

The Monday workshop organized by Christine Perey and Robert Rice had a good turnout. The major upcoming or established AR companies of this year were present: Wikitude, Metaio, ACrossair and Nokia presented their plans or visions.

  • Peter Meier of Metaio announced a mobile SDK which allows app developers to integrate an AR view in their game. The API will take POIs in a XML format and will also support showing highscores in an AR view. Most promising is the announcement of 3D markerless tracking. The first release of Junaio, an iPhone app letting users place 3D content in the real world and share it with their friends, will not have this technology, but Metaio promised to add it soon.

  • Markus Tripp of Mobilizy announced the upcoming API allowing developers to host their own POI content, similar to the Layar approach. With that, they will support ARML, an extension to KML, to describe the POIs. It will be possible to use Wikitude to enter the URL to fetch the POIs, bookmark it inside of Wikitude or search for new content providers (search all ARML sites on the web).

  • David Murphy of Nokia presented the possibilities offered by Symbian for creating your own AR apps. It supports OpenGL but no 3D hardware acceleration, has a good JSON parser (a coincidence David Murphy mentioned this as Layar uses JSON?) and supports position and compass well. Maybe more interesting is the fact that it is increasingly becoming possible to use python for development on Nokia devices, making the learning curve on Symbian much less steep.

  • Chetan Damani of Acrossair also announced they will be releasing an open development platform for their browser in November. They will support 3 types of AR apps: Simple XML files for uploading content to the Acrossair platform and viewing in the Acrossair browser, an advanced API for hosting the content on your own server (the Layar model) and full integration for app developers who want the Acrossair view in their own application.

We then had some good discussions on the future of our apps but really weren’t able to agree on a 2012 roadmap for this industry: It’s just too early now and we’re all investigating our own strategies and roadmaps right now.

It was great fun to sit in one room with Markus, Peter and Chetan and discuss possibilities for standardizing some of the stuff we offer. Of course content developers would love to be able to offer their content in a single way across the various browser platforms, like on the web (well, except for some small browser incompatibilities). How can we get there and not have the same crucial flaws the early web browsers had, e.g. with CSS, forcing content developers to customize for each and every browser? The easiest part is the metadata of the POIs where an XML-based structure like KML, used by Wikitude with ARML seems to make sense. But AR browsers are more than a list of POIs. We need a request structure (XMPP, HTTP?), objects in 2d and 3d (.obj? collada? VRML?), user interaction, image recognition and feature recognition to describe the AR world. And all of these would need standardization in order to guarantee interoperability. So whilst acknowledging we will need to standardize, we had to admit that the timing isn’t right yet and standardization would slow down our innovation drift rather than help us at this stage.

What I take away on this first day is that the competition for Layar will be tough, we’re all creating open platforms for AR content and we’re all adding 3D to our browser. On the other hand the focus of each browser is different: graphics and design, user experience, gaming aspects, user-generated content and a solid developer community are various aspects where each of us has its own strengths and weaknesses. Our company strategies are probably very different.

The evening spent with Tish Shute and later Peter Meier and part of his Metaio team was memorable, everybody is extremely open at sharing ideas and driving innovation forward.

My focus the next day was mainly on tracking and tracing. The presentations by Oxford University and TU Graz made my day, giving clearly the state of the art regarding tracking and tracing right now:

  • Marker-based tracing has reached amazing stability on mobile devices, anyone would be able to use it and not get frustrated by objects jumping around or losing the marker. This is important, because even on a PC, I’ve often experience that using it myself led to a jumpy experience with the nice 3D object disappearing every so often due to my movements of the marker.

  • Feature-based image recognition is getting there, although memory limitations on mobile devices will require a limited set of known images to recognize from. Still, we as browser makers will need to think of good user interfaces since the recognition rate is lower than 100% for not too simple images, think more like 80%.

  • Markerless tracking on mobile phones was showcased with 2 quite spectacular demonstrations:

    • One from Dieter Schmalstieg of the TU Graz, where the software was able to recognize the outlines of the area using the buildings around the user. Mapping the shape of the area (street block) to GIS data in order to accurately determine the location. Luckily Graz offers these typical European old-town layouts where none of the blocks has the same shape. One wonders how this would be done in a US city, where blocks are the same in the entire city.

    • the other demo was by George Klein who managed to get PTAM to run on a mobile and track the objects on a desk. Then letting a 3D model of a flower bed grow out of the cover of a book, a video of it you might have seen on YouTube. Neat, but if one user does it on his phone, how will another device know exactly which book was used to ‘plant’ the flowers so someone else can relive the same scene?

  • Also here, user interfaces to help users master this technology will be crucial, as acquiring data points for tracking and recognize features takes time and requires moving the camera around.

Later that evening over thai dinner, I had good discussions about future business models in AR with Tish, Dylan Philips and Joe Ludwig (‘one bus stop away’ layer for Seattle). Can we make business out of the current mobile AR apps that use the ‘magic lens’ or will we have to wait for the glasses and more wearable devices to come on the market to see AR reach the masses? Will consumers feel more comfortable with AR looking through a pair of glasses or will they eventually adopt the ‘hold your phone in front of you’ pose? And what’s the advantage of finding things around you looking through the ‘magic lens’ rather than seeing them on a map? I think Layar has already proven that business can be done now, with a number of our developers making money out of Layar. Also the AR view certainly appeals to many users as being more intuitive than the traditional map view.

Some final take aways for me from ISMAR 09:

  • Even though it sometimes looked like Wikitude and Layar were the AR heroes of today, the stuff that makes our hearts beat faster still comes from the great research by scientists at universities like TU Graz, Oxford, Georgia Tech and Canterbury (NZ). They are laying the foundations for AR in the future, not Layar with its simple ‘not even real AR’ browser :-)

  • Using current AR browsers indoors is usually disappointing, lacking the positioning of GPS. But this is where image recognition and feature recognition will be easier to apply, with well known floor plans and objects. Think for example of musea, paintings and statues.

  • Marker-based tracking (be it with textures or code-based markers) still offers a lot of value when brought into the mobile world. It’s so much easier to use than with PC/webcam setup. István Barakonyi from Imagination had very cool demos of this technology: The book on the little worm that eats his way through all the fruit and becomes a beautiful butterfly that we all read when we were children got new life with AR.


Email this article

New Projectmanager

maurice groenhart October 26, 2009

This morning Maurice Groenhart started as our new project manager. He will be responsible for a variety of projects in the upcoming months. Maurice graduated two month ago and was searching for the right job since. Last week we hired him and this morning he started his first official day at Layar. Maurice will introduce himself in the few sentences below:

“My name is Maurice Groenhart and I’m 27 years old. For the past 4 years I was a student at the Hogeschool Utrecht where I studied Digital Communications. During my study I got very interested in technology, innovations and (online) marketing. After my thesis about Mobile Advertising and my graduation it was finally the time to look for an interesting job. I found this job at Layar where I can combine my interests and ambitions in my new job as a project manager. In my spare time I like to read and enjoying the good things in life like friends, good food, a little bit of sport and formula 1. I’m really looking forward to my period at Layar.”

With this post we want to welcome Maurice (@groenhart) on board. Good luck.


Email this article
We request not to sign up and further make payments for Layar services. Please proceed to use Blippbuilder to create AR experiences.
We use cookies to improve our services. Don’t worry, they don’t store personal or sensitive information and you can disable them at any time in your browser settings.