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Blog: smilez

Holiday Fundraiser Raises Money for Charity with AR Postcards

Chris Cameron December 23, 2014

Each year since 2004 during the week before Christmas, Dutch radio station 3FM hosts the Serious Request donation drive to benefit a specific charity chosen for that year. The station’s DJs live for 6 days in a glass house erected in a public square as they broadcast on radio and TV around the clock, drawing big crowds and even bigger donations.

For this year’s fundraiser in the Dutch city of Haarlem, Serious Request has teamed up with AR developers Dutch Rose Media to create interactive AR postcards with their Layar-powered app Smilez. The postcards are being sold for €2, and €1 from each card will be donated to Serious Request.

When scanning one of three different postcards with the Smilez app (it also works with the Layar App), users will see a video play right on the card as it comes to life. One card features a holiday themed greeting, another shows a brief video tour of the city of Haarlem, and the third features imagery from this year’s charity theme, “Hands Off Our Girls.”

The theme of the fundraiser aims to raise money and awareness for female victims of sexual assault during war and conflict. Last year’s event to benefit charities fighting child death from diarrhea (humorously titled “Let’s Clean This Shit Up”) raised over €12 million ($15 million), with roughly half being donated on the final day of the drive, Christmas Eve.

To try it yourself, have a look at the Smilez-enhanced Serious Request postcards. If you’d like to purchase one, you can do so at the Smilez website.


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Dutch Developers Launch Kickstarter for AR Greeting Cards

Chris Cameron August 1, 2014

In 2013, a group of developers at Dutch Rose Media created the “Smilez” app with the Layar SDK to allow anyone to create personalized Augmented Reality greeting cards.

The app is pretty simple. Using their phone, users can record a video message, pick a card design and add text. Then, Smilez sends a physical greeting card to the recipient who can scan the card with the Smilez app to watch the video message come to life.

After receiving attention both from the press and from large brands including IBM and Deloitte, this small Dutch company wants to go international. They’ve launched a Kickstarter project to help fund the production of an international version of the app with more features, as well as the other elements of the business including global printing and shipping.

“People can back us on Kickstarter with different amounts. In exchange we offer some cool rewards as a thank you,” says Dutch Rose Media founder Natasja Paulssen. “These rewards can range from Smilez cards and Smilez campaigns to Augmented Reality posters.”

The company is hoping to raise €25,000 by August 27th, so have a look at their Kickstarter page if you’re interested in donating!


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