Can Augmented Reality be created in print?

When we talk of Augmented or Virtual Reality, the first thing that comes to our minds is Pokémon Go. This augmented reality game encourages players to come out of their homes and hunt for virtual Pokemons, train them and then battle with other players. The game uses real world maps to help the player find the Pokemon.

There are Pokestops, Pokegyms and Pokestops, where players stop, fight other players and find supplies or other equipments. A shop in Orange County, US, has created a few 3D printed Pokemon models which are kept around his shop, which players can find. Players are happy to find the real world Pokemon and tweet about it on #Pokeprint. This has generated a lot of interest and people are now looking for virtual as well as real Pokemons.

Well, this is just the beginning. Printing industry still has a lot to adapt from this game, since younger generation is so hooked to Augmented reality. Though the concept is not new; and many brand owners have used the same technology in newspapers but it has not been very successful or popular so far.

There has been a continuous debate of print vs digital and the verdict is clear – they both will complement each other. Combining AR into print will indeed open up new opportunities for printers and brand owners. They can bring static pages to life!

It is time, when it can be augmented into printed products like brochures, catalogues, etc for high value products like jewellery, high-end models of cars, realty, etc. Just imagine what it would be like to simply scan the code or an image through our smartphone/tablets and find a virtual image of the product we are looking at. Besides, brand owners can offer AR-related rewards to woo the customers and engage with them directly.

It works for both non-tech and tech-savvy customers - people who are still happy looking at the printed version, do not need to go for AR while the tech-savvy customers who are looking for something beyond print, can scan and get to the virtual world.

There’s a lot to explore and cash on this new development. So, what are you waiting for? Early adopters are the sure-shot winners. Happy printing!

Sonal Khurana
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