|Australia's biggest sheetfed printer Blue Star who last week announced its merger with IPMG will develop it's augmented reality division based on the emerging technology's ability to integrate print and digital technologies.
AR is an impressive marketing and interactive vehicle which simply works by using an iPad, or similar digital device - and focusing on printed images as the trigger - videos, 3D models or other digital content spring to life on the screen.
Former Keyhole.com (Google Earth) Director and head of a company that develops Google Glass applications, David Lorenzini, says AR will not cannibalise Blue Star's print business, but ‘supercharge' it.
AR entrepreneur and former Silicon Valley consultant David Francis who leads the division which offers end-to-end services for clients, including developing AR technologies and applications to campaign-based creative and delivery support, using smart mobile devices. For Publishers this will be a much needed boost to their marketing armory.
"We are seeing a new era of effortless interaction with technology. For print the impact is incredible," Francis told ProPrint.
"With AR on one page you can get 100 things for 100 people - translation into different languages, tailored content or a tutorial on your first visit.
"You can design ways to entertain your customer, then help them easily share what they have seen, or click for more info, or subscribe - all from the one printed page. There is an amazing world coming. Print is going to persist as far as I can see."
Francis says one of the key strengths of AR as an advertising medium is its ability to measure viewing numbers and collect data in real time for advertisers.
"It's about reducing friction and creating the shortest distance between intention and action, allowing customers to explore what they want to know without having to navigate through websites," he says.
"This isn't about flashing your brand up in someone's vicinity and calling it an impression or an eyeball.
"Through this medium not only can you see and hear a product but you can interact with it, see it from any angle and engage your sense of the world around you - that's how memories are made. It's about becoming more contextually relevant to your consumer, interacting with them in their world and inviting them to opt in and meet you half way."