Augment Your Printing

As technologies in communication progress, the ways that print is used continue to change. In the wake of QR Codes, interactive print is taking a giant leap into Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality is a process by which publishers are allowed to tie print directly to video, images, and interactive calls-to-action. Examples include YouTube videos, 3-D imaging, photo slide shows, and prompts to connect by phone, email, or social media.

Augmented Reality (AR) apps utilize a device’s camera to associate registered photos and graphics with an augmented experience. Once a device reads an AR graphic, it may display video, sound, or provide an interactive 3D display. There are many free AR reader apps available for Android and Apple devices. Layar and Aurasma seem to be two of the more popular and easy-to-use apps. Once the app is downloaded, it is able to view Augmented Reality on a printed piece or screen.

Augmented Reality has many practical uses as well as creative ones. The auto industry uses AR in instructional booklets to assist the reader with complicated repairs by utilizing 3-D images and video. Magazines use it to enhance articles. For instance, action photos in sports magazines come alive on a device when they are scanned. Home decor magazines can create interactive 3D images showing how furniture will look in the reader’s own living room, kitchen, or bath.

Possibilities range from simple links and videos to complex product displays with online purchasing options. Statistics show upward trends in almost all forms of mobile communication. Augmented Reality will change the way printing is viewed for years to come.

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