Augmented Reality

June 2, 2011

in Technology

Post image for Augmented Reality

AR – a cool place to be

At Xcaliba we’re never short on selling the virtues of print as an important part of your media strategy.  Despite everything we may be told about how ‘the printed page is dead’ and the paperless environment will soon be upon us; we all know the reality is somewhat different.  You only have to look around any busy office to realise that we are a very long way from the total eradication of paper as a medium.  Paper is still a very powerful communication tool – as our free book on paper in ‘Stuff for you’ explains.

Print and how it is being used is definitely changing, we see that average print runs are reducing in length but each printed marketing piece is produced to reach the right customer quicker – as targeted responses to email campaigns, for instance. 

So, onto Augmented Reality…AR is a bit of a ‘buzz phrase’ and although the technology is relatively new, it is an amazing example of how print can be used to enhance digital media.

Wikipedia gives the following definition for Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

Any the wiser?  No, we weren’t either. It may help to give a theoretical example…you produce a brochure that has an AR bar code printed in it, possibly a different code on every page.  Anyone that has the correct software on their smart-phone can view your brochure through their phone camera and on their screen appears a digital 3D image or animation of your product.  Your customer can view your product from different angles or even interact with it…pretty exciting?  Can you imagine the potential that technology has?  Not just for the fun/gaming sort of stuff but as a way of allowing your customers to engage with your company and products in a way never before seen or understood.

There is a gimmicky aspect to AR at the moment but we have no doubt that it is here to stay.  Coupled with advancement in 3D-viewing technology, the implications of how it changes our understanding of marketing is pretty big.  We intend to keep a very close eye on how the software develops and we’ll keep you posted but in the meantime have a look at this video which shows AR in all it’s glory.



(Note from David…we’re considering running AR presses with AR paper printing in AR full colour one side, trimming on AR guillotines, packing in AR boxes and then delivering on AR vans…the invoices will, however, be printed conventionally on paper.)

The image at the top of the post is an example of an Augmented Reality ad used by MINI in Germany back in 2008 (it’s not just the towels they’re quick with).

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