The augmented reality of Cloak and Curio

** Note to readers – As of May 2013 we’ve unpublished the AR media for this project since we went through a full redesign of the Cloak and Curio website. We will be re-publishing our AR with the updated site information by July 2013. **

Sounds a bit like “cloak and dagger” meets “sci fi,” right? And that’s pretty much the truth. Augmented reality (AR) still feels like a wonderful mystery to me – similar to how I feel about teleporting or the TARDIS. If you don’t know what AR is, it’s a new-tech way to integrate and layer content using digital and print media.

Layar instructions for Cloak and Curio augmented reality ARIn a previous blog post, I mentioned my latest fascination with AR after my visit to the FELT Lab operated by REAP (University of Waterloo), and sponsored by Quarry Integrated Communications and Christie Digital. I decided to take AR into my own hands quite literally. I wanted to create an augmented experience for mobile devices using Cloak and Curio (my online store) as a guinea pig. I made another visit to FELT last week after brainstorming an AR vision for Cloak. I spoke to Jennifer Janik who walked me through the tools I would need and the process flow for creating what I had in mind. I was excited that not only would it be possible to do what I envisioned, but I could actually try and do it myself.

After experimenting with a few different layouts, I’ve landed on something that I don’t mind sharing although I’ll probably continue to tinker with it. I’d like to share it with you if you have a moment to be dazzled ; ) It’ll be quick and I promise you that it will also be very cool:

  1. Using your Android or iOS device (ie. something apple-related), go to your Play Store or App Store. (Blackberry users – please see my note below.)
  2. Search for Layar in either the Play Store or App Store. The logo looks like this in blue and white:
    layar bw logo
  3. Download and install Layar – it’s free!
  4. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend turning your device so that it’s wider horizontally for optimal viewing.
  5. Next, open up Layar on your device (it should be saved to your device’s main screen).
  6. When you have Layar open, hold your device to the Cloak and Curio logo image below and hit the “scan” button.
  7. Watch what happens!

Cloak and Curio augmented reality ARNow, WHEREVER you see the Cloak and Curio logo, you can scan it with Layar and find:

  • A featured product that changes whenever you open up the app – you can swipe your finger down the image to scroll down and see all of the details, and then tap on the image to go to the actual featured product online.
  • Recently posted items in “The closet”
  • Cloak and Curio’s homepage – just tap on “Shop online!”
  • Cloak and Curio’s social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter, as well as a link to get in touch with us via email

I don’t typically (or lightly) use all caps and bold together, but I felt it necessary to stress that this will work anywhere you find the Cloak and Curio logo – on one of our business cards, a poster, on our Twitter profile, Facebook – wherever! I’m still amazed by it myself!

This is just a very simple example of using augmented reality to take your brand to a whole new level in the digital world. I’m going to continue playing around to see what else I can do with augmented reality and I’ll share my findings with you.

If you’d like to know more about AR and how I set this up, send me an email either through the augmented reality experience above or here!

(My sincerest apologies to Blackberry users. At the time of this post Layar is only supported on Android and iOS, and it’s the only augmented reality app that I’ve been able to teach myself how to use. I’m also looking into Wikitude which is supported on Blackberry devices. I’ll keep you posted if I’m able to wrap my head around Wikitude. In the meantime, you can still download the Wikitude app on your device and play around with it…it’s pretty neat!)


  1. I just tried this out on my iPhone 4 and it works great. It’s pretty cool. Does a logo have to be designed in a special format to use AR technology? Can’t wait to see how AR is used in future. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Cool. HP has a similar app.

    • Neat! I’ll have to look that up! I’m also going to update the AR for Cloak now that we’ve re-launched the program. Just have to think of what media will be the most useful to layer with the logo.

      Thanks for your comment, Darleen! 🙂

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