Scan me for AR to pop up!
Last week, I promised to do a test AR campaign using the free, basic version Layar. You know, just to see how quick and easy it really is.
Like anything, dashboard has a learning curve. If you can publish a blog post, you can create a Layar campaign very quickly. I simply took a screen shot of the landing page of my website (above), took a video on my iPhone, and exported the video using QuickTime. I uploaded the files using Layar Creator. The software did the rest.
(To see the results, download and launch the Layar app, point the phone at the image above [image only—don’t include any other parts of the screen], and tap the screen to activate.)
Understanding how to enable people to view the Layar creation was trickier. It turns out, you just use your original images the way you would use any image. They have simply been mapped by Layar, and it is in the scanning process with the phone that they are analyzed and the user taken to the experience.
However, this was not in the instructions. As a first-time user, once I hit “save” on the campaign, there were no instructions on what to do next. Under the “promote” button, it gave me a link to a preview of the Layar page, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. It took me 24 hours of back and forth email with the Layar support team to understand that I simply use my own images as I normally would.
These are not AR issues. They are software and customer education issues. Layar has some work to do on that front, but creating the actual interactive element itself was completely fast and automated.
Layar Creator has tons of other functionality. I just wanted to see how long it would take and how easy the experience was with the most basic form.
Regardless of my personal learning curve, it was fascinating to see the AR portion being automated, and it works. In some respects, it’s easier than free QR Codes because the back end is interactive and mobile-optimized by default. For the most basic of campaigns (interactive buttons, play a video, take people to a website), it’s done for you. Like any proprietary application, however, you’ll pay for it, of course.
At their most basic level, QR Codes are free. At their most basic level, Layar and similar solutions are not. But I must say, Layar certainly made the AR portion of it easy.