Virtual and augmented reality are impacting the world of print.
Editor’s Note: This the third of five “Imaging Reality Check” posts, each anchored by and featuring one of five videos that illustrate the examples of innovative and dynamic use of print by McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Garage Magazine, TAM Airlines (On Board magazine), and Abraxas AB (an “adult beverage” manufacturer).
When you hear the term “virtual reality,” the odds are good your first thought isn’t about print. It’s probably not even your second or third thought. But virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is where many brands are starting to turn when it comes to marketing their services and products. And that means print needs to follow.
Before we look at the ramifications for print, let me get one disclaimer out of the way: I absolutely am a “tech geek.” I love playing with all the latest and greatest gadgets, I follow tech industry news, and I am a sucker for an unboxing video. I am admittedly not what you would call unbiased when it comes to loving technology. On the flip side, I love print. I love holding it in my hands, I love getting it in the mail, I love feeling it when I come across interesting substrates, and I have a habit of trying to touch almost every printed item I can. So it is safe to say that the idea of merging print with technology is one that has me beyond excited.
And I’m not the only one.
It is truly exciting to see how brands—and by extension printers—are finding new and innovative ways to merge the print and digital worlds. I went down the rabbit hole and found some truly amazing examples to share with you that seamlessly blend the printed piece with a wide range of VR and AR technologies to create experiences that get people talking. The future of marketing is in this kind of creative warping of reality, and printers—and their partners—that can not only think outside of the box, but also redefine the very walls of the box itself will be the biggest winners tomorrow.
This is an interesting application that used traditional magazine covers as the base printed piece. There was nothing special about the print—no specific inks, no codes, no fancy techniques. Just a printed magazine cover.
However, when users held that cover, and the spreads inside, up to SnapChat, something amazing happened. Using the AR technology SnapChat already has embedded in it for facial recognition and mapping, users found their magazines coming to life with special filters they could only access that way. Users who downloaded the magazine’s branded Garage app were treated to even more of an experience with the ability to see interactive content for both the main cover stories, as well as for one of the advertisers, Burberry. Without the printed magazine, this campaign wouldn’t have been possible, since it relied on every user of the experience starting with the exact same printed image.