Augmented Reality – making print interactive

Posted by on 03 Apr 2010 | Category: Industry Trends

Augmented Reality (AR) is now a very viable marketing tool to promote products using interactive 3D applications. If you haven’t heard of Augmented Reality yet, take a look at our November article Connecting Print To New Media.

Augmented Reality on Webcam

Marketers and technology innovators have done some very interesting examples of AR for the home market, using symbols printed locally which are then placed in front of your PC’s web camera.

AR is now also being developed for retail displays and mobile phones.

Here are some quick examples from these three AR forums:

AR platforms

AR @ home

Magazine publishers have already started using AR to enhance their readers’ experience, albeit to mixed reviews. Magazines have included Esquire, Popular Science and USA Today (whose back cover featured a Harry Potter Augmented Reality map).

 Esquire Popular Science

USA Today - Harry Potter 3D

AR enabled locations

Lego installed AR retail kiosks in all of their LEGO brand stores worldwide. This let their consumers reveal a virtually built-up and fully animated LEGO product by holding the package up to the DIGITAL BOX.

Lego Retail 01 Lego Retail 02

AR in your pocket

AR applications are being written for the iPhone, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms.

Their uses have involved product promotions, educational information, outdoor advertising and location based services.

mobile AR 01  mobile AR 02



Metaio, a company that develops AR projects for the European market shared this information in a webinar last week:

  • Some AR promotions require the home PC user to download a specific program, install it and then run it to get their AR experience. This is too much to ask of your @ home market.
  • The best way to promote AR for the home market is to make sure your AR application makes use of the existing Adobe Flash and Shockwave platforms prevalent in over 96% of all PC’s.
  • Allow a 4 – 6 week time line for the software development of your AR promotion. This is dependant on the complexity of the job though.
  • Currently allow a budget with a starting price of around US$50,000.

I would expect this price to drop as technology improves and AR becomes more readily available.

New Tool Drives Print Content To Online Social Media

Posted by on 19 Jan 2010 | Category: Industry Trends

Smub, Inc., a company specializing in developing tools to simplify the sharing of media — digital or print — with online social networks, has rolled out a new service called

Introduced in October at MPA’s Magazine Innovation Summit, was developed specifically to extend the reach of print publications and the life of their content by allowing readers to share links to the articles they read in print with their online social networks.  According to Smub, "With, every reader is a potential social media marketer for the publication. By providing readers the tools to push content instantly to their online social networks, drives traffic to the publisher’s website, increases brand awareness and lowers the cost of subscriber acquisition."

As reported by Folio Magazine, to use it publishers register with, then create custom URLs for select articles and print them in the physical edition of the magazine. When the reader wants to share the article, they can then enter the URL into a web browser, which offers the reader a "share and save" page from which they can e-mail a shortened link directly to their contacts, bookmark the link or share it among social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Digg. Folio cites as an example, the French magazine Polka which includes the URL which allows readers to then share pictures on social media sites.

According to Smub CEO Thierry Lamouline, "Our research shows that roughly 25% of all Tweets and Facebook status updates contain a link.  By empowering their readers to share content, publishers will create an audience of social media marketers who actively promote publishers brands, driving targeted traffic to publishers’ web sites, which in turn will dramatically lower the cost of a subscriber acquisition via the web."

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