Travel Blog

13 Jul

Tech Tails: Layar

Having layers is never a bad thing. They keep you warm in the winter, supply new dip flavours mid-party and now you can see layers of content in publications, thanks to a new app called Layar. Available on iOS and Android, this app has a simple function: they make the printable world more clickable (according to their website). What does that mean? Well, if you are reading a printed publication and you see the Layar logo you open the app and scan the page and additional content such as links, video or images will appear.


This allows for additional content (including link, images and videos) to be included with articles and advertisements. This is also known as an augmented reality* experience.

The Layar Logo

The Layar Logo


As a user, this is a very comprehensible app. It’s simple to use and provides clear and crisp content. Once the app is open you scan the page and select the “scan” option. On the app there are scanning tips, if you are having trouble (select the icon of lines in the bottom right corner). Some of the local publications that use Layar are The Question, Whistler the Magazine and Whistler Traveller. As a publisher, it seems worth it to try this out. The prices are reasonable and if you have additional content to share, this is a very interactive way to do so.

The Scanned Page

The Scanned Page


The downside is that sometimes you have to stay over the page to view the content. I tried to look through a photo album and when I moved away from the page the album disappeared. It does take a few minutes to get the feel of using the app but the screen on a phone can be small, so if the content is detailed, it can be annoying. It can be very easy for publications to overdo the augmented reality and by providing too many pages with the Layer logo, their content can get lost by an overwhelmed user.

If publications are fancy and creative, they can make cool videos. Here, check out this video:

This app has room to grow and would be great on an iPad/tablet. Also, it would be nice if I could scan something and email it to myself so I could look at it on a bigger screen. This app costs zero dollars to users but may cause you to take more time to read publications. Layar gets 3.5 out of 5 bites of cheesecake. It’s a great concept and I think publications really need to dig deep into their creative souls to make Layar worth it to their readers.

*Augmented Reality: An enhanced image  viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlayingcomputer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment.

Do you have a website, app or something techie you want Blair to review? Tweet her: @blairkaplanprBlair Kaplan is a Pemberton/Whistler based Communications Professional who loves cats, travelling and all things nerdy.


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