The company is pivoting its business to focus on what CEO Quintin Schevernels calls “interactive print”. That means working with magazine and newspaper publishers to add interactivity and digital content to their titles, using Layar’s technology.
It’s still AR, but a different branch to the ‘look through your phone at the world around you’ that Layar first became known for.
“Over the past years we have been exploring AR. This has been a very valuable journey. A journey that gave us a lot of insights and brought us to the strong position where we are today. However we are still a small company,” writes Schevernels in a blog post. ”We see a lot of opportunities in Interactive Print and we want to focus on these.”
Layar is thus abandoning development on Stiktu, its side-project app for user-generated AR content. Company founders Raimo van de Klein and Claire Boonstra will also be “no longer be involved with Layar on a day-to-day basis” from the start of 2013.
Boonstra will remain an advisor, while van de Klein will sit on Layar’s supervisory board and “keep on acting as sparring partner for our product strategy” – an interesting phrase to use.
In truth, this isn’t a hugely surprising pivot: Layar has been working on print campaigns for a while now. However, it faces strong competition, since old rivals like Metaio and new players like Blippar and Aurasma are also targeting interactive print as a key area for growth.