Layar, a Holland-based leader in augmented reality, has launched a revolutionary new technology called "Creator" that takes its previous technology (which gave static objects additional layers of content) further -- to printed materials.
"(Creator) basically enables print publishers to make their static publications interactive with videos, links, ‘buy’ buttons and whatnot both easily and rapidly," writes Robin Wauters of TheNextWeb.com.
"Publishers can use Layar Creator to upload static images, PDFs or ZIP files online, drag-and-drop digital buttons onto them and publish them on the Layar platform in one go. When readers view those ‘activated pages’ with one of Layar’s smartphone apps, the buttons will appear on top."
(Watch the demo video below.)
The technology is really cool and some immediate applications for in-store deals and promotions come to mind: posters jump off the walls, deals spill off print at the POS, etc. Imagine having a sticker on your storefront window, saying "Layar-enabled shopping zone," encouraging passersby (and their curious children) to wander into your store and explore the augmented reality content.
And with Google Glasses technology on the horizon, the augmented reality experiences would become even more immersive (rather than being limited to seeing that additional layer of content on your small smartphone -- or larger tablet -- screen).
“Retail Prophet” Doug Stephens blogged about Layar back in August 2011. He raved about how Layar turns anything into a QR code: “Magazines, books, food packages, cars or any other object can be recognizable to the program and instantly overlay it with digital information which the user can then interact with. The conceivable applications for it are limitless.”
It's clear widespread use of AR technology like this is at least a couple years out, let alone in-store uses for it, but it's definitely a new form of technology that retailers should keep an eye on.