Layar ‘Augmented Reality’ Browsing

Layar (http://www.layar.com) is a "beautiful, fun augmented reality app that shows you the things you can't see". It's a way of using the camera on your smartphone to 'augment reality' and show points of interest around you, including real objects, such as cafes, bars and the like, and virtual objects, for example wikipedia entries or people using Twitter.

Screenshot of Layar in use

Once you've located a point of interest you can click a button on the interface and it will give you directions from your current location to whatever it is you have selected.

The University of Exeter ‘Layar layer’

The University has created it's own layer of information that you can access through the Layar augmented reality browser. This can help you orient yourself around campus, and locate points of interest that are specific to the University. Using a combination of the GPS in your smartphone and filters in the Layar browser you can show as much or as little information as you wish.

Screenshot of the Layar browser in use at the University of Exeter

There are hundreds of points of interest available through the University of Exeter 'Layar layer', such as places to eat & drink, the location of lecture theatres, recycling facilities, open access PC rooms and more. Some of these have special links to help you further, for example whether an open access PC room has a free PC you can use, or podcasts explaining the story behind some of the sculptures that you will find around campus.

How to Get the Free Layar Browser

Layar is available free to download for iPhone and Android smartphones. iPhone users can download Layar from the App Store, and Android users can download Layar from the Android Marketplace - simply search for 'Layar' to find the app.

Alternatively you can point your smartphones QR Code Reader at the QR barcode below to download it:

Download Layar for iPhone or Layar for Android using this QR code

Once you've downloaded the Layar browser, simply search within in to find the University layer, using the keyword 'Exeter'. To start using the Layer click on it, and then press the 'launch' button.

Using the University of Exeter ‘Layar layer’

Using the Layar browser you can currently find the location of all the following objects in relation to your own location:

  • Buildings
  • Bus Stops
  • Cafes & Bars (includes a web site link where appropriate)
  • Car Parking
  • Cycle Parking
  • Lecture Theatres
  • PC Clusters (includes link to current PC Cluster usage)
  • Recycling Facilities
  • Sculptures (includes an audio commentary for every sculpture)
  • Shops

By pressing a button on the interface you can ask your smartphone to give you directions from your present location to your selection.

Demonstration Videos of Layar in Action

There's lots you can do with the Layar browser, so we've created these short videos which show you the basics of using Layar and examples of the points of interest you will find on campus.

An Overview of the Layar Smartphone App

Finding an Open Access PC Room

Finding Places to Eat & Drink

Sculpture Trail Podcasts

Feedback

We'd love you hear what you think about Layar, and any ideas you have to improve what's available. To get in touch email us direct at r.m.osborne@exeter.ac.uk.

Information for University Staff

If you're a member of staff interested in learning more about the Layar app, how it works and how to get your own data added to it please see our Wiki pages at https://wiki.exeter.ac.uk/display/geodata/Layar.