Layar Connect in more depth: A developer gives his perspective


The announcement of Layar Connect earlier today promises to do for Augmented Reality what Youtube has done for online video – take it to the big time.

We got pretty excited about that.

These new content management systems for Augmented Reality will allow non-techie people to upload their own points of interest and create their own augmented reality apps in the same way that WordPress lets us update websites without needing to know how the whole things works..

If you’re interested in a little more in-depth analysis of the announcement, we talked to AR developer Howard Ogden of Mobilistar about how the platform will get used.

A couple of interesting points from what he told us:

1) AR will go big time. It’s about democratising augmented reality publishing.

2) The release of the API opens up some useful stuff that even hardcore Layar developers didn’t have access to previously.
“The Connect API exposes some of the back-end layer creation functionality that, up until now, us developers had no way to ‘connect’ to.”

3) Though proper Layar developers will continue to make custom Augmented Reality content management systems..
“For us experienced Layar developers we tend to require more advanced features and functionality for our apps than the current crop of Layar Connect systems allow us. Also, we have certain requirements in terms of infrastructure availability and data protection from our clients. For simple store locators with static points of interest, CMS’s work perfectly, but when you have a tonne of evolving, complex, real-time data a tailor-made solution is the way forward.”

4) On the capability of the current crop of Layar CMSs
“A cursory examination of the functions and features of the 4 CMS’s mentioned leads me to believe that the ability to use live & dynamic data looks to be exclusive to BuildAR and Poiz (correct me if I’m wrong VISAR & Poistr). In future, I’m sure we will see a Layar Connect Tool that easily allows people to create mash-ups of API’s (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and so on).”

5) Layar’s doing a good job: Seems like a great API
“We beta tested the new API from the early stages and found it to be extremely well-authored and feature-packed. It really does mean that we can create a tool to enable anyone to create AR content in Layar.”

See more about Howard’s AR company Mobilistar here, recently awarded a Layar Pioneer badge..

Anna Leach

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