Layar is my technology company of choice to examine. A trio of tech experts in 2007 Raimo van der Klein, Maarten Lens-FitzGerald and Claire Boonstra founded Mobile Monday in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. They did this during their free time as a hobby in order to connect people who shared their enthusiasm for mobile technological innovation. This is a strong cast of leaders with expertise in the entrepreneurial world of emerging technologies, particularly in the mobile smartphone market.
Mobile Monday Amsterdam flourished and in 2008 Raimo, Maarten and Claire set up in business together. This trio also began exploring the possibilities offered by content layered on top of reality. This eventually became Layar. What is important to note is that within hours of launching on June 16th 2009, it had already been picked up on by most of the media in their world. This is a seasoned, dedicated team of entrepreneurs, and for that reason, I sense this is a blue chip product and company to invest in.
Claire Boonstra has been named one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Technology by FastCompany and Laptop Magazine. Since earning her degree in Civil Engineering in 2001, Claire has worked in Mobile, Marketing and New Media. Previous employers include KPN Mobile (introducing i-mode to the European market), Unilever (European Brand Manager) and Talpa Digital (new online-media ventures). Together with her co-founders Maarten Lens-FitzGerald and Raimo van der Klein, Claire started Mobile Monday Amsterdam and SPRXmobile before launching Layar in 2009. Claire is primarily responsible for facilitating the third-party brand, agency and developer ecosystem of Layar.
Maarten Lens-FitzGerald (General Manager of Layar) has been an Internet professional since 1993, developing Web 2.0 strategies and campaign concepts. In 2007 he brought his expertise to the mobile industry, co-founding Mobile Monday Amsterdam and later SPRXmobile with Raimo van der Klein and Claire Boonstra. In 2008 Maarten was diagnosed with cancer and became known as Patient 2.0, sharing all his experiences through the social Web and via his blog Maartens Journey.com.
Raimo van der Klein (Chief Executive Officer) was co-founder and partner at SPRXmobile – a mobile agency focusing on strategy and concept development with clients like Vodafone and Rabobank following a successful career in Sales & Marketing at Nokia and as Principal Innovation Manager at KPN Mobile.
As the Horizon Report 2010 and 2011 have indicated, augmented reality will be an emerging force in the educational technology world. Layar has been one of the early adopters using AR technology, especially as it uses both the Android and iPhone applications. Not only do Layar’s mobile application features content layers that may include ratings, reviews, advertising, or other such information to assist consumers on location in shopping or dining areas, it also allows users to create their own place-of-interest (POI) and adding their own content to this application. In my opinion, Layar is the new blue chip company to watch for now in the emerging educational technology and commercial sector.