Publishing Pops Off the Page
Since the emergence of the Web as a publishing medium nearly 20 years ago, the print media publishing industry and its customers have been adjusting to and taking advantage of new digital technologies. With Augmented Reality, a new set of possibilities are popping up around print media objects.
When combined with a camera, a processor (in a desktop computer or mobile device) and software, new or expanded experiences are literally popping out of the surface on which the ink is applied. When triggering the appearance of digital information with a highly-controllable physical medium such as paper for Augmented Reality, many risks introduced when using 3D objects or location as triggers are reduced or avoided entirely.
Mobile Augmented Reality is a means for publishers and all those who have previously communicated using print to astound and enrich the customer and reader far beyond what is possible with only print and the Web separately.
Augmented Reality offers a new user interface on content which can be developed once and accessed/experienced millions of times by the same or different individual users. Adding a new and interactive dimension to the published (print) content requires no modifications to existing print media objects.
Low barrier to entry
In contrast with Augmented Reality applications which rely solely on knowing a user‘s orientation and position on the globe, print-based AR applications do not require the user to purchase a device with GPS and a compass. This has two direct benefits. By lowering the requirements threshold for a mobile device which can be used for Augmented Reality to only a camera and 3G network connectivity, more users can access the AR content. Using the revised definition, the number of AR-capable handsets increases from approximately 6M (capable of GPS+compass AR) to between 200M and 600M, depending
on the application complexity and how the data is stored and retrieved. Further,
print-based AR applications are indifferent to the user environment. They work
outdoors and are well-suited for indoor conditions, such as a museum or retail space,
where location-based triggers for Augmented Reality perform poorly due to low and
uneven penetration of GPS signal in many buildings.
By using Augmented Reality to enhance printed surfaces and products, anyone with a message to convey can offer the ultimate “customized“ or personalized experience in the form of new interactions for pages or signs, even business cards. By further combining user-recognition technologies, a developer could even specify what they would like their own “sign“ to say to individual users.
As a result of increasingly powerful recognition algorithms and the high resolution of cameraphones, Augmented Reality applications leveraging print may have much more robust tracking and registration than systems which rely solely on GPS and magnetometer. Developers seeking to convey detailed features of a virtual object can more readily leverage interaction with published media.
New life to existing works
One of the principles of delivering printed media, such as books, is that the user can return to the same experience many times as long as the book is still within reach. To bring new experiences or to update some information associated with a product or book does not require republishing a box, sign or book; the development effort consists of adding virtual content and notifying the user that there is a new dimension available to the previous artifact or published work.
Over the past decade nearly all who seek to reach mainstream customers with a message use cross-media campaigns (print and Web, print and TV, radio, newspapers). Where in the past cross-media campaigns required a special version of content for each medium, with Augmented Reality, multiple media interact. This requires a new and different way of thinking about design of content and interactivity with the user.
Despite these opportunities, tapping the full potential of Augmented Reality over the next decade will require significant experimentation and innovation with existing materials, customer education about how and when to access AR, and new techniques of communication. This report assists companies in understanding when, where and how they can prepare Augmented Reality applications using custom and off-the-shelf systems, with in-house and hired experts. It provides guidelines for how to design an Augmented Reality application to best leverage the existing print assets, to select an Augmented Reality partner, to experiment and to stimulate new revenue streams with Augmented Reality.
Who must read this report?
- Publishers of all sizes and types of print media in all domains
- Marketing and sales professionals
- Designers of all types of signage, packaging, promotional and event materials
- Booth and event space designers
- Brand managers
- Advertising professionals
- Augmented Reality technology providers
- Mobile network operators
- Mobile phone hardware and software developers
Table of Contents*
- What is Augmented Reality?
- A short history of Mobile AR and Publishing
- Benefits of AR for publishers
- Stationary and Mobile AR applications for publishers
- Interactive signs and collateral
- “Magic” books and periodicals
- 3D advertising
- 3D manuals and guides
- Technologies for consumers
- Desktop applications with Webcams
- Mobile phones/Smartphones
- Mobile Networks
- AR Browsers
- AR Developer tools
- Content preparation and publishing tools
- Tools for trigger recognition
- Tools for designing interaction
- Tools for capture (User generated AR)
- Guidelines for developing print-based Augmented Reality
- Building the user base awareness
- Designing AR for advertisement
- User experience management
- AR Content management
- Finding partners for AR development and content
- Bringing AR experiences to the customer
- Using Social AR
- New revenue streams with AR
- Increasing customer loyalty with AR
- Risks and Challenges
- Technology barriers
- Business barriers
- Future Trends in Mobile AR
- Risks and Challenges
- Drivers and Opportunities
- Mobile AR Market Forecast
- Appendix 1: Companies mentioned
* as of January 3, 2011. Subject to change without notice.