Print + Augmented Reality

This is a re-post of a blog that we published earlier this year. We are re-posting because the subject is print plus augmented reality and we are proud to announce that our next edition of Connect Magazine will have an augmented reality experience included!

A simple definition for “print plus” is combining print with another channel, creating a form of communication that is more effective than using print alone. Oftentimes, people think of print, digital and mobile in either-or terms, as if the mediums compete. But when it comes to strengthening your message and reaching the largest audience, it’s not about picking one channel over the others—it’s about blending them in a way that makes sense.

So, then, what makes sense? How can you incorporate multiple channels into your marketing plan in ways that intrigue your customers and give your message the maximum exposure? In this series you’ll learn ways to do just that—and you can easily start implementing them in your own business. In this first installment, we’ll explore the incredible technology called Augmented Reality.

Augmented reality is tough to explain, but it does exactly what its name implies. The example that most people can relate to is its use in televised sports, where computer-generated graphics provide insight into the action. The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics (like the first down yard line for your football fans), audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time. Augmented reality works by overlaying virtual information onto the real world to “augment” (or addinsights) to the experience. In recent years, other great examples of augmented reality have surfaced, including in-store packaging applications, engineering manuals, educational books and games.

This technology brings an amazing dimension to print communication. A customer points her smartphone (enabled with an augmented reality app or reader) at a code embedded in a print piece to activate additional content. This content could be a pop-up window of additional information, a 3D projection of an image or an enhanced view using the phone’s camera. Metaio is a company that’s developing both the hardware and the software for this amazing technology.

Ikea has embraced Augmented Reality and made it a huge part of their 2014 catalog. Check out the Ikea video here. How cool is that? Printed catalogs will never be the same!

At NextPage, we embrace Print Plus. That’s why we have created an Augmented Reality experience in our August Edition of Connect Magazine! Connect will arrive this month so keep an eye out for your copy in the mail. If you’re not on our list for this great resource, contact us today.

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