Walas Younger Ltd
This blog post is brought to you from our friend and Augmented Reality Expert, Cindy Walas.
We’re hearing more and more buzz these days about Augmented Reality – for magazines, catalogs, books, maps, guidebooks, brochures, packaging, signage – and all of its potential for the future.
What is AR really?
The Oxford dictionary defines “augmented reality” as:
“A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.”
The current Marketing definition is:
“A technology that increases the passive content of (print) media by connecting to interactive digital content through a smart device.”
“Augmented Reality is cutting-edge technology that connects the print and the digital world.”
It is an easy, interactive way to engage your audience. And great content is the key to great customer engagement.
So what kind of content?
Kevin Keane, a social media guru, attorney and marketing consultant for companies ranging from cyber security to packaging to the new #printprotagonist start up for #interactiveprint, recently posted these goals for any good AR in a LinkedIn group:
Good AR Should: 1) Bring print to life; 2) Add value to print; 3) Involve M-commerce (mobile commerce); 4) Offer a deeper dive of engagement with the product and service offerings from the client’s enterprise; 5) offer social sharing integration; 6) Offer gamification, as it is a proven way to develop “stickiness” with customers – sweepstakes, contests, surveys and even puzzles cause folks to stick around, and 7) Offer analytics. “Seven splendid layers of discovery”
It’s not just about special effects that you see so often, either. Think more about adding expanded material to textbooks, technical information to catalogs, how-to videos for recipes, storefronts to magazines and catalogs…the possibilities are infinite. Print Infinity!
AR creates the perfect bridge between the print and digital worlds. Tony Calo of StampaSud/Stampatech in Italy, is starting to lean towards “interactive print”, instead of augmented reality. He has a point, as it zeros in on “print” as the medium.
Walas Younger Ltd has partnered with Stampatech (via StampaSud SPA in Britain and Italy) to produce a number of AR projects. Working with Tony Calo, Stampatech project director, we recently completed two terrific magazine projects with 10+ pages of AR-enhancement, and collaborated on AR development for several other clients.
Europa In Canto: A Children’s Opera Music Course Book
To involve students with samples of music and obtain data related this interaction. To see AR in-action yourself please click on the Europa In Canto image for a scannable, enhanced version. Download the Stampatech app, scan and enjoy the AR experience.
We: Built an area where students were encouraged to scan with the Stampatech AR app and download extra content – sheet music, videos and audio music samples. To do this, clients would apply for this information via email, which created an email database of subscribers at the same time.
Results: More than 1200 downloads and email addresses were created within a three-month period. The publisher gained a geographic map of how and where downloads were effected, generating a “success picture” of the areas of the country where major interest in the courses was building.
“Who’s Hungry?” Food Magazine
Brief: “Who’s Hungry?” is a leading food photography magazine. The client wanted to add information to the print issues that mated the links and added information that was available via the digital edition. The magazine also wanted to use it as an avenue for client sponsorship, links and promo information, without having to add advertising space to the magazine.
We: Built digital pages that linked to specific article images. Readers could see additional articles/blogs, links to restaurant information, recipe pages and other features. Future issues will include paid sponsor links and features in lieu of advertising space.
To interact with the image please download the Stampatech App.
We: Have partnered with EuroStampa, one of the world’s largest label printing organization, to add value to its print as part of an innovative solutions for its labels. Working together, we have devised a specific label product called “LabelActive”, where Stampatech offers clients the chance to scan and download supplemental product information, create client profile databases, demonstrate origins and check authenticity.
Results: EuroStampa was so pleased with it that they immediately added a demo area for the program at the LuxePack luxury show in Monaco. During the three days of the show, more than 200 demos were made, with inquiries from four continents.
AR (#interactiveprint) engages and empowers, and will help you combine your separate marketing channels under one umbrella – Print!. It allows you to go beyond the printed page, to be able to engage with client/customers in a way that is only limited by the imagination.
Truly “Print Infinity!”
Here’s a neat little video (1 minute) that demos the “Stampatech” AR platform. It really shows the power (and the magic) of #interactive print. http://vimeo.com/109794486
Cindy Walas is Principal of Walas Younger Ltd, an Integrated Media Solutions company located in the Chicago environs.
Antony Calo is Stampatech Project Director. Stampatech is the InterActive Print system created by StampaSud, UK and Italy.
Kevin Keane is a writer, blogger, speaker and commentator in the global graphics arts community.