Thursday, May 31, 2012

Layar For A Run

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

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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

World Confederation of Institutes and Libraries in Chinese Overseas Studies 2012 Presentation at UBC

“Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past” is community engagement and digitization initiative that contributes to the reconstruction of the identities of Chinese Canadians. Focusing on UBC Library’s role as nexus for university-community engagement, this presentation outlines interactions with the local Chinese communities and their roles in shaping the identities of Chinese Canadians across the Pacific. As a case study of one Canadian academic library’s drive in the recovery, creation, organization, promotion and research of Chinese Canadian historical materials in both English and Chinese, this project showcases the complex links and dynamics between institutional efforts to preserve archival materials for learning and research and the preservation of family history in the community for posterity that can be studied on a number of levels.

 Whereas academic libraries have traditionally concentrated on building collections, providing research support to students and faculty, and offering information literacy instruction, they have always been integrated into the broader aspirations of the university. As the academic library can be natural focal point for this interaction and exchange between academia and community, Chinese Canadian Stories ( helps position UBC Library as a gathering place for community outreach and community-based research.

 Through this project, it can be said that UBC Library is making a difference in innovatively creating a different approach to the preservation of the Chinese Canadian history and correcting the past’s erasures in Canada’s national memory, by working with academics, libraries and archives as well as the diverse communities of Canada. In all, UBC collaborated with twentyeight communities across Canada – from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland – to document the history of Chinese families in the twentieth century. This paper presents the project of “Chinese Canadian Stories” as a model for how an academic library can successfully collaborate with an ethnic community to preserve their culture and history and brought a new awareness of their social identity. The benefits and challenges of such collaboration are discussed in the context of a real-world application. And recommendations for future applications are presented.