Interactive magazines and prints: Augmented reality

Technology
Typography

A few weeks ago Trevor and PK of Coker-Swinscoe Consultancy came to our offi ce to demonstrate augmented reality technology.

For the first time, I was truly impressed by the progress in augmented technology having spent the last seven or so years watching launches of many non-starter augmented reality. This technology integrates apps in the mobile phones and tablets and brings magazines and print items to life. Niha and I were greatly impressed when we saw Trevor Coker bring NRG Fuel magazine to life. I am more convinced than ever before that augmented technology has great potential especially on advertising, shopping experiences, gaming, movies and in storytelling, more so in children’s books.

What is it?

Augmented reality (AR) is a radical piece of technology that that enables people to view real-life scenes in publications such as adverts, children’s book, games, posters and leaflets via mobile device. In addition to viewing these real life scenes, it give offers the user’s ability to interact with the scene by giving further information, contents and instructions on the device’s screen.

Trevor’s presentation showed us how contents of NRG Fuel magazine came to life. After downloading the AR app to the smartphone and in the tablet and pointing the camera to the images and adverts in the NRG Fuel magazine, items were virtually lifted from the magazine to the screen. It took us to videos, adverts, experiences with products and service users and interactions with advertisements.

This technology represents the future of how we use our mobile devices by bringing the physical and virtual worlds together for the fi rst time. For example, by pointing at a black and white photos and the app colours them in. Pointing at profi le photo of an advertiser brings them talking and explaining about the product and how they use it. Pointing it at a children’s story book brings the story to life by reading aloud through the storyteller’s voice and possibly watching characters in the story.

Available on smart devices, AR was created out of technology that is capable of recognizing images, symbols and objects in the real world and understanding them. It can then deliver digital content in real time, including videos, animations, audio or web pages. Coker-Swinscoe Consultancy’s projects currently work on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad3 and more powerful Android smart phones and tablets.

What can it do for us?

Our greatest excitement is in how AR will be used in bringing advertisements to life. AR will help us to give advertisers better and more fulfi lling experience in Mojatu magazine and other publications. Enabling readers of magazines and other print products to engage more fully with the contents is a major breakthrough for the print industry.

Using augmented reality in your marketing will increase visibility of your product or service. Once you see AR in action, you will be greatly impressed when you visualize how it could be used to really enhance a lot of static experiences by making them come alive. As it is cutting edge and new it creates a wow factor for your brand. Examples of use could range from bringing a simple picture or poster to life, creating instructional videos by simply pointing your device at a product. This is enhanced further by linking the app to most of the common social media channels thus providing greater opportunities to share advertisers’ products and services online. Do not take my word for it. You have to see how this works for you to truly appreciate how AR works. This will help you see the virtually limitless use that AR can be put into.

See examples here: • Happy Feet Poster: https://vimeo.com/32517241 • Asics Magazine Ad: https://vimeo.com/41366462 • LittleBigPlanet Box Cover: https://vimeo.com/49749938 • Zapparel Promo: https://vimeo.com/40294198 • Election Zaphats: https://vimeo.com/51736613 (password: obama) • Skylanders T-shirt Promo: https://vimeo.com/49254411

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