Layar has been one of the most innovative and progressive web start-ups I've seen in a while. It's taking the technology world by storm, and just today, it's come out with something I truly think will lead to a revolution in how we interact on the web. Layar has been working on this for over a year, and I believe it's hit critical mass, with the numerous developments happening concurrently with augmented reality programs across the world.
Layar has been collaborating with European magazine and newspaper publishers to help enhance the static pages of their publications with digital content, and in particular, offering publishers the tools to simply create the interaction themselves. As Layar reveals, the last two issues of LINDA. Magazine, including the L’HOMO issue, are all embedded with buttons. The vtwonen magalogue with all of its “Buy” buttons. The latest Eppo comic from Senefelder, the VPRO Gids. Introducing: Layar Creator.
Will this mean the end of QR codes? Seems like it. Layar Creator's emergence feels a lot like when the first services like Geocities provided easy access to creating websites, interacting with other users, and paving the way for the Web 2.0 era. Layar Creator is almost like a WYSIWYG application for activating print pages with digital AR content. Anyone with a computer can upload images or PDFs, drag-and-drop any of a number of digital buttons onto the pages and publish them on the Layar platform. Layar Creator requires no software to install. No fancy code work needed, no developers. Whereas it took months of web programming to put together -- can now be done in mere moments.
Layar uses image recognition technology, as it recognizes existing images from the pages of magazines and newspapers without the need for special markers like QR codes. It's a path where I think we're truly leading to the so-called, much hyped but little-understood Web 3.0. This early premonition of how "digital tagging" can be applied to physical objects are, in my opinion, the foreshadowing of the Web of Things and information shadow that will be a distinctive feature of Web 3.0.