Coming to life: Lili Bermuda is one of several companies in Bermuda using augmented reality through the Layar app, and the MediaHouse group of companies, to get the word out about their product in a more dynamic function. *Photo courtesy of Bermuda.com Guide
Coming to life: Lili Bermuda is one of several companies in Bermuda using augmented reality through the Layar app, and the MediaHouse group of companies, to get the word out about their product in a more dynamic function. *Photo courtesy of Bermuda.com Guide

The world of augmented reality (AR) was strengthened when Blippar acquired Layar.

MediaHouse, the parent company of the Bermuda Sun, is a Layar Certified Partner, cementing its foothold as market leader of augmented reality technology in Bermuda.  

The merger means the AR market will be bolstered as Blippar is now the undisputed king in this market area. The combined firm works with more than 5,000 brands and publishers with more than 100,000 self-publishing partners in 175 countries and a reach to 50 million consumers. 

TechCrunch said the acquisition gives Blippar “a powerful positioning in the AR and visual browsing space, which may help its adoption in the mass consumer space where AR has tended to languish”. 

Glenn Jones, MediaHouse general manager, said: “The global augmented reality space is truly heating up with Blippar’s acquisition of Layar, Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus and the new availability of Google Glass — all happening within the past three months.

“I’m truly excited about the Blippar acquisition because it now means there is one undisputed brain trust in augmented reality.  Soon the knowledge base and the user base will no longer be splintered.  

“I think this means the proliferation of augmented reality will happen more quickly than even we imagined here at MediaHouse when we introduced the technology to the Bermuda market back in March.  We always knew AR technology was hot, but perhaps we underestimated just how hot it truly was.

“Going forward, I think you’ll see us double down on the innovations available through augmented reality.  We’ve earned the right to call ourselves the true media innovators in the Bermuda market.  And as long as I’m here, we’re not giving up that title easily.”

Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra said in a release: “We’re very proud to announce that we have acquired Layar, a key pioneer in bringing augmented reality (AR) to mobile devices since 2009.  

“With this acquisition, we have established one of the biggest data footprints for consumer AR use around the world — another exciting step on the path to turning the physical world around us interactive! 

“By bringing the two businesses together, we look forward to harnessing Layar’s technical insight and practical know-how and combining it with our own to effectively ‘own’ the AR and visual browsing space, and sow the seeds for mass consumer adoption.

“We started Blippar with the vision of delivering high-quality, engaging, ubiquitous consumer augmented reality through a ‘browser’ of the physical world.

“In only 33 months we’ve gone from building prototypes in the living room of my flat to connecting millions of consumers to thousands of brands around the world, making the verb ‘to blipp’ synonymous with AR experiences. To me, Layar has always demonstrated that it shares this vision of an augmented world. Now working together as one team, we will further define what consumer augmented reality needs to be, and what will be required to deliver it on a global scale as an intuitive daily behaviour.”

Blippar plans to share further details on the acquisition and its product roadmap in the third quarter of 2014.