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From The Design Desk | What is Clickable Paper?

Is augmented reality making digital connectivity the future of print?

My best friend’s birthday is in November, which coincidentally happens to be the month in which both Fantastic Beasts movies have been released. We’re both massive Harry Potter fans, so as I was looking at gift ideas for this year, I saw the Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Photo and Video Printer. It is primarily a bluetooth-enabled instant printer for your smartphone photos, but using the Lifeprint app, you can turn your photos into animated video, just like the moving portraits in the Harry Potter universe. The novelty of it doesn’t it make it worth the high price tag, in my opinion, but I was amused at the clever application of augmented reality.

Recently, RICOH unveiled new capabilities of it’s Clickable Paper App, which combines AR technology with photo recognition software to link print advertising to online data such as websites and forms. The new features will allow for surveys and quizzes to be a part of the linked data, as well as games, all without the need for clumsy QR codes or barcodes (although the Clickable Paper app is required).

The future of technology like this intrigues me. So many of us already do most of our business and communication on a handheld smartphone, tablet or laptop. Imagine doing your Black Friday shopping and being able to research products with a simple scan of your smartphone, pulling up reviews or product tutorials and videos while you waited in line. Imagine a photograph of your children or relatives on a mantle that with a simple wave of your device, would play their voice or show them laughing.

Augmented Reality is seeping it’s way into gaming slowly, and other industries much less quickly, but there is no denying that very soon it could drastically change the way we communicate and interact with each other and with brands. I’m intrigued and excited to see how it changes our industry in particular – for so long digital has been labelled as the death of print, but with Augmented Reality, it could actually be the savior. Modern magic at it’s finest!

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