November 16, 2012

Layar: Augmented Reality for Free


What the heck is “augmented reality,”
and why should you care?

If you create any printed material that other people read — I mean almost anything — you will love Layar, a free service and app (iOS and Android) that makes your documents come to life! I didn’t understand it until I played with it, so you really should watch this video to see it in action.

Layar brings your printed material to life to the nth degree. In sum, it allows you to add links, information and multimedia to any document with amazing ease and at no cost. Dwell magazine and Lonely Planet travel guides are both using Layar to enhance their pages, and I foresee quite a future for the technology. You will, of course, need to tell your readers that the dynamic content is there and that they have to download Layar to see it, but it beats static old QR codes all to heck!

The applications of Layar are unlimited, but here are some of the ideas I had:

  • Add additional details to your business card
  • Distribute handouts to the conference via the brochure
  • Send out postcards with a super-secret offer
  • Print large volumes of a generic brochure and add specific or time-sensitive updates
  • Give recipients easy ways to share your content or specials
  • Increase your social media network with links to your Facebook and Twitter pages



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