Layar Just Brought Augmented Reality to the Mainstream but Can it Revive Print?
By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
One of the most obvious results of the current digital revolution is the slow and painful death of print, including newspapers, magazines, and even books. These things are not dead just yet but let’s just say, times are not great.
As digital content takes over, led of course by the mobile device, more and more people turn to their iPad to read magazines, their Kindle to read books, and social media for the news.
One of the most magical technologies out there, that ironically depends on the traditional non-digital world is augmented reality. If you have no idea what augmented reality is or what I mean by “magical”, watch this. Not convinced? OK, you are a hard sell. Watch this, that should do the job! I know, awesome.
So, in theory, if augmented reality can reach the mainstream somehow, it has the potential to revive print. Why? Well, think about it this way. If you are an advertiser and want to sell your product, where will you do it? On the web where the buyer can hit a Purchase button in a split second and where you can easily track every click, impression, and conversion, or in a magazine where you hope the reader will copy the URL and purchase the item or remember it the next time they are in a store? Exactly.
But… What if you can add a Purchase button to every ad in a magazine that would allow the reader to buy the item on the spot? Or if you can take the best of the interactive digital world and apply it to print? Sounds crazy, right? And even if you could do that, it would require tons of development knowledge and skills, it would never reach the mainstream, right? All that just changed.
Layar, the leading provider of augmented reality technology just released a pretty awesome new Web app that basically enables anyone to bring digital content and apply it as a layer on top of print. Augmented reality is one of those things that is super difficult to explain in words, but what Layar did here was basically enabled this highly advanced technology to be utilized by anyone who wants to increase the interactive nature of their content, thereby increasing engagement and ultimately, conversions.
So how does this thing work? From the user’s standpoint, imagine you are reading an article in a magazine about a cool new product. You can then launch the Layar app and basically point it at the magazine, at which point you might be able to view a YouTube video about the product, launch the website, purchase the item, among many other possibilities. From the publisher’s standpoint, enabling these options has never been easier.
Take a look at the two videos below. The first shows the potential of the new Layar Creator and the second shows just how easy it is to apply augmented reality to your print content.
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