Layar 3D Video Demos Looks Sick


If you haven’t heard (and you probably have), Layar has added 3D capabilities to their Augmented Reality Browser. You may wonder what that means and rather then try to explain in some technical terms, check out these videos that the company put together to illustrate:

The pacman characters, airplane and 3D text were all rendered within the Layar browser. The company is giving development access to these 3D capabilities to 500 developers who can create new types of experiences for users of Layar. If you’re an interested developer visit  A new version of the app will be available on Android Market in November, coming with a Layar 3.0 version – perhaps it should be Layar 3D.0?

Some interesting points are made in the Layar 3D FAQ:

How does it work?

Layar 3D makes use of OpenGL, the accelerometer, the GPS and the compass of the phone. Developers can place 3D objects in their content layers based on coordinates. Objects can be optimized in size and orientation to create an immersive and realistic experience. The 3D capabilities supports live downloading and rendering of 3D objects. Also its possible to interact with 3D objects by assigning actions such as “open link” or “play music”.

No dummy, I’m a developer. How does it work?

Layar3D builds upon the current Layar Developers API by allowing layer developers to enrich POI information with 3D objects: In addition to the lat/lon information, developers will be able to specify altitude and pitch/angle for each object as well as simple animations. Each object will be fetched by the client from a URL specified by the developer in the POI information. Layar will provide all the tools needed to create the required 3D format based on the universally accepted OBJ format (

So let’s hear from you, our awesome reader… what types of layers and experiences would YOU like to see created with this new Layar 3D technology?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. i dont really see a point in any of the demos… they really serve no purpose..

  2. @KiDD –
    Sure, the demos are silly, but I can see two or three applications right off the top of my head.
    1. Porting 3D walkthroughs of available houses/apartments, so the customer can find out just how small the kitchen is on that place *before* they walk the 15 blocks to go see it in person.
    2. Retailers can do something similar – 3D rendered video of the store, hot item they want you to look at, etc.
    3. ARG. Oh yes. Alternate Reality Games. The possibilities to increase immersion just scream. Imagine “I Love Bees” with this kind of imbed when you visit physical locations? Layar exclusive clues and content…
    This is future marketing’s wet dream. Pervasive opportunity coupled to a lifestyle-defining delivery system. Pure brilliance.

  3. This is amazing. My company specializes in 3D application development and I would love to get my hands on their API. The fact that you can place objects in GPS coordinates is fantastic. Signing up, thanks for the post!

  4. The demos’ camera views don’t synchronize with the external environment (especially start of arcade game and throughout venue tagging). I call fake, video on phone.

    Interesting Article in this weeks New Scientist suggesting AR may be just a flash in pan because of users’ expectations compared to actual products hardware capabilities (PR for some iPhone app that uses 3d terrain data to refine gps/compass).

    Still think it’s quite a useful technology if we set expectations away from technical goals and focus on the benefits to the user: I don’t care about it being perfectly accurate, I care about the content. Where Layar Wikitude et al fail is the lack of content that’s actually any use to me.

  5. I see no reason why it should be fake, ofc the rendering isnt precise, but its like a meter or less away, which is normally what you get with a phone gps. And with opengl support, this seems pretty valid.

    The sad part is that i have yet to see augmented reality being used in a way that wow’ed me. Im afraid this could end up as a gimmick, like gps games where you have to actually move around until you realize how you’re spending your precious time and goes on a binge.

  6. Provided Layar 3D works well and the GPS/compass is at least somewhat accurate, i can see great potential for this.

    Some examples:

    – Locative Art.
    Imagine what artists can do with this. They can create art in cyberspace mapped onto a real location.

    – Advertising and Games.
    Like J. Mac said.

    – Tourism
    E.g. Alternate Reality on the Freedom Trail in Boston.

    – Finding people in a crowd.
    Proving both parties have something like Layar, you could text/mgs someone that you’re looking for, and ask him/her to turn on her phone starting a locative/AR program. It could work like a 3D radar.

  7. This is the first step towards the day you can drag a document right off your computer and stick it to the wall, give it to a friend, or stick in your pocket.
    It’s the start of having personal avatars beside you, assisting in your goals.
    It’s the start of innocuous things like being able to wave your fingers and having blasts of light and color spray from the tips. It’s the start of magic.

  8. I can definitely see the benefits of this for tourism for sure. Imagine walking the Freedom Trail in Boston with this. No guide or guidebook needed, it’s all on your phone! I’m not sure sure something like AR games would be much more than a gimmick on a phone, however, but aren’t a lot of phone apps just gimmicks? (iFart anyone?)

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