Archive for November, 2010

Layar gets €10 million Funding

Layar have announced that they received €10 in a funding round led by Intel Capital joined by existing investors Sunstone Capital and Prime Ventures.  This is great news for the company that have been at the forefront of Augmented Reality for the last 18 months.

Layar was one application that really excited me when I got my first Android phone and I just know this money will help to make a great company an amazing company.

Here is what Raimo van der Klein, Layar’s CEO had to say about how the money will effect them:

What does Layar hope to achieve?
We want to bring impactful Augmented Reality content into people’s everyday lives. Let’s have a closer look at some of the words and phrases in this simple sentence.

“Bring” This means that Layar is handling the transportation of content and connecting publishers and users on as many mobile platforms as possible. Soon, we will launch the Layar Player, an SDK that will bring Augmented Reality content to any iPhone application. But we don’t only want to be facilitators; we also want to help users discover the Layar content that is right for them at the moment they need it.

“Impactful” – We believe that Augmented Reality in its very core is designed to deliver experiences that can truly touch people. Remember the quote from Confucius? “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Augmented Reality is the closest digital experience to “doing” that there is today. We will continue to invest in capabilities that offer our developers the tools to create the most exciting mobile digital experiences.

“Into people’s everyday lives” – Augmented Reality is in its infancy, much like television was before the growth of massively successful content formats like soaps, live sporting events and reality TV. It’s also comparable to YouTube before we all realized that we love to watch videos of kittens. At Layar we don’t like to assume. We don’t know which formats will be successful in the medium of Augmented Reality. Therefore, we are structuring our platform in such a way that will allow for the successful formats to naturally emerge.

Layar will also be opening an office in the Bay area and are on the lookout for people to join their team.  I wonder if they would consider a second European office in office in Dublin?

Is Layar packing its bags for Silicon Valley?
Yes and no. We really like it in Amsterdam, and we plan to stay here and expand our team here. We will, however, be opening a U.S. office in San Francisco soon. If you are interested in joining the Layar family in the Bay Area, here are a few of our American openings.

The best of luck to Layar, I am excited to see what the next level of Augmented Reality will look like.

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Hey, Java Developers! Go develop Android apps

More and more companies are focusing their efforts on the mobile market and offering an ‘app’ for their product or brand.
However, many are falling into the trap of only focusing on developing iPhone apps. As Gartner has reported, Android is now outselling iPhone as the smartphone of choice.   In the future there is going to be a major effort from these companies with established apps to port them over to Android.

Android is an App market that companies can’t afford to ignore.

Gartner estimates Android phones accounted for 75 percent to 80 percent of Verizon Wireless’s smartphone trade in the third quarter of 2010. Manufacturers such as Samsung continued to launch high-end devices like the Galaxy S. But manufacturers also launched Android devices at lower prices to target different consumer segments. For example, ZTE launched a sub-£100 Android phone with Orange in the prepay U.K. market. For its part, Google is maintaining a fast pace of OS updates. Each version brings new features and polish to Android, and the level of innovation is a major differentiator.

So why is this good for Java Developers?

If you are a Java developer and thinking of making the transition to mobile app development, Android is a natural choice.    It allows you to continue to develop in Java and progress your career to the next level.

The API is very well documented and there are lot of great tutorials in the dev guide.     Google even have lots of sample apps and tutorials to get you started.   If all that wasn’t good enough, there is also an eclipse plugin so you can continue to develop in eclipse.

The presentation below should be you a quick overview of the architecture and how to get started.

Android For Java Developers

View more presentations from Mike Wolfson.


So, forget about learning Objective C and moving over to Mac, stick with the language you love and start developing Android apps in java.

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