Kevin Greek, the webmaster and online guru for TKO Marketing Solutions sent me an email suggesting augmented reality in print material might be a good topic for a blog post. I answered “Sure Kevin, what the heck is augmented reality in print? Aren’t print and augmented reality mutually exclusive?” Old School print and state-of-the-art AR would be like flipping a coin and betting it would come down both heads and tails, wouldn’t it?

It’s a New Game and a New Team

Kevin directed me to some information, and I jumped down the rabbit hole. Not only do they not exclude each other, but when teamed they enhance both, creating something greater than either alone. And there are companies already taking advantage of the dual process.

Ikea and the Two Week Catalogue

Retailer IKEA publishes more than 210 million catalogues annually. Other than their retail outlets the print catalogue has been their source for introducing products to customers. However, the average lifespan of a print catalogue in a customer’s home was two weeks. The writing was on the wall about the decline of print in general. So what does a business do?

The Augmented Catalogue

Ikea used image recognition software to overlay images, audio, and video on selected pages in its catalogue. All a customer need do is select the page and view it with his or her smart device and viola; they have a 3-D image of a piece of furniture, or view they can inside of a cabinet, or they can place furniture in their home. Want to see how it works?  2016 IKEA Catalogue Augmented Reality.

How Could Business Combine Print with AR?

How could your business use this technology to enhance the user experience for your customer? Here are a few thoughts.

  • Green Grocery – Place recipes in a print ad using the specials of the week.
  • Landscaping – Use AR to select catalogue items and place them in the customer’s yard.
  • Restaurant – Add AR video of menu items, showing them from garden to table.
  • Retail clothing and footwear – Allow customers to “try on” catalogue merchandise on themselves or their kids!
  • Auto parts – Use AR to show how add-on and aftermarket products would look on a prospects vehicle.
  • Music venues – Add audio to flyers—hear a bit of the performance before attending.
  • Sporting events –For seat selection create flyers that show the point of view from selected seats.
  • Vehicle Graphics Brochure – Show a customer how a full wrap would look on a fleet vehicle.

What industry is your business and how could you use augmented reality to take your print collateral materials to a new level?

Photo Credit: Unsplash Photos photo by Rawpixel