Augmented Reality (AR) Brings Print Back From the Dead

January 14, 2014 by Andrew Woods

Lately we’ve heard a lot of hubbub about how print is dead. And with the way technology changes faster than a cheetah hopped up on Red Bull, it’s easy to believe that the ink well is half empty. But I’m hesitant to rule out the contribution of ol’ Gutenberg just yet. I think what we’re witnessing is the evolution of print.

Bear with me here.

Google Glass and AR Technology

So, for the sake of this post, we’re going to assume that by this point most of you have at least heard of Google Glass, the computer headgear that started all of the wearable tech hype. Maybe you’ve even googled it and watched the youtube video. It may seem like the technology is miles away from being mainstream, but maybe not.

Google Glass uses augmented reality, or AR, technology that digitally enhances the real world by overlaying virtual content over the viewers surroundings through the sensors in any smart mobile device. So until you get your hands on a pair, you can still experience augmented content using an augmented reality app like Junaio on your smartphone or tablet.

Junaio and similar AR apps scan a real life “fingerprint” to connect to virtual content, similar to AR’s older distant relative—the QR code.

Augmented Reality’s Applications

But unlike it’s homely, obnoxious cousin, the scanned target can be anything from a printed piece—like a logo or poster—to a 3-dimensional object—like a sneaker. And the possibilities for virtual content are almost endless.

Check out the AR experience Adidas created with the Adidas Originals Game Pack shoes. Sneakerheads could buy the set of three coordinating pairs and use their device to play virtual games using augmented reality tagged to a logo on the tongue of the shoes.

The more we let the possibilities of augmented reality simmer, the more we are amazed at the potential this technology has to seamlessly connect a brands physical products and marketing efforts to its digital media to truly create a relationship with its fans.

How are other brands using Augmented Reality?

Check out these amazing examples of how others are using AR technology to interact with their fans.

Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo uses “Penguin-Power” to guide guests to the aquarium.

We Are Autobots, created to promote the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, uses augmented reality and face tracking so fans could picture themselves as Autobot leader Optimus Prime.

We’re working on our own augmented reality projects right here at Duckpin. Stay tuned to see what we have up our sleeves!