Your mobile device has a browser where you can browse a text-based website or watch a video. Now you can do both in one shot through Layar. Layar is an augmented reality application that makes what your camera is looking at fully immersive, interactive and integrated into the scene. I was introduced to Layar a few weeks ago when I received a copy of John Taft’s new book A Force For Good.
As a side note – If you have any interest in the financial world especially around the 2008 collapse then I would highly recommend this book. It’s a collection of views from financial leaders across the country and industry on how the collapse happened and what needs to be done in the financial world for us to re-gain trust in it.
As part of the promotional copy I received came a bookmark. Initially I did not scan it thinking Layar was just another QRCode scanner that would take me to a website but after I finished the book my wife urged me to check it out. Below is a picture of my holding the bookmark. Pretty benign and standard. At the bottom were instructions to download the Layar all and use it on the bookmark.
After downloading the app I opened it, clicked the camera capture and pointed it to the bookmark. Then my impression of Layar and augmented reality marketing changed drastically.Below is a picture of what happens to the bookmark within the app. The image is not edited by me in any way. When the app recognized the bookmark a full, HD video displayed over the Wall Street picture and a minute long video of John Taft talking about the book begins to play. No matter how you rotate the bookmark the video stayed locked onto the bookmark. Below it two links appeared, one took you the LinkedIn profile and the other to a webpage about the book. All realtime, all laid on top of the live image through the camera and crystal clear.
Very impressive. If this catches on and they are gaining ground I can see uses for Layar around for getting expanded content from static billboards, signed, shops, items, movie posters, etc… Instead of waiting to get home or try to research more about it I could use Layar to scan it and get all the information played right there. Another nice feature is all the scans done with Layar are saved so you can play it later. This would come in handy if you scan a poster in a shop as you are walking by, you don’t need to be at the item to see it again later.
Overall, like any marketing tool, adoption is key. If others see the value and get the word out this could be mainstream. But with the lagging adoption of QRCodes and other scannable marketing gimmicks that have been tried in the past this one has the same mountain to climb. It doesn’t change the fact that Layar is a very impressive piece of innovation.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.