Dutch Layar signs global augmented reality deals

AMSTERDAM, June 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Netherlands-based Layar, a
provider of augmented reality software, signed deals to be
distributed on a third of smartphones worldwide and predicted a
boost in the use of its technology, which combines real-world
images with computer-generated images on a screen.

Layar expects “tens of millions of users” of its technology
this year, the company told visitors to an event in one of
Amsterdam’s historic canalside houses on Friday celebrating its
first anniversary.

“We are on the brink of something big or maybe it is even
big already,” co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald said.

The privately owned company said LG (066570.KS: ), the world’s
third mobile phone manufacturer, had signed a deal for worldwide
distribution, while Samsung (005930.KS: ) had expanded its
relationship to its new mobile operating system Bada.

Layar added a Chinese handset manufacturer had also signed a
global distribution deal for Layar software, along with TCT
Mobile in Hong Kong.

“We will announce more global distribution partnerships in
the coming months with world leading manufacturers … by early
2011 Layar expects to be distributed by the manufacturer on
three out of four new smartphones shipped worldwide,” said Matt
Miesnieks, responsible for customer development at Layar.

In the past year over 2.2 million people used Layar products
at least once, 700,000 in the past 30 days, the company said.

Augmented reality has been around for 15 years and
broadcasters were early adopters, using digitised images to
enhance TV pictures, commonly in coverage of sports events.

Video game makers, notably Sony Corp (6758.T: ) and Microsoft
Corp (MSFT.O: ), have also adopted augmented reality technology as
a way to create more interactive games.

But the technology has garnered increased attention since
its availability on smartphones, so someone holding up a mobile
phone equipped with a camera, a global positioning satellite
(GPS) sensor, compass and the right software can point to a city
street and overlay other images and information.

Layar is one of the leading providers of the underlying
software that makes possible augmented reality, which is
available on Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.)’s (AAPL.O: ) iPhone 3gs and Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis)’s
(GOOG.O: ) Android-based mobile phones.

The company’s main shareholders are Sunstone Capital of
Denmark and Amsterdam-based Prime Technology Ventures.

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(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by David Holmes)

Dutch Layar signs global augmented reality deals