Augmented Reality Is Coming to Printed Books and Magazines

With augmented reality technologies in digitally printed books and magazines, readers will be able to use their smartphones to access explanatory videos, supplementary websites, and online discussion groups. Authors, designers, and publishers may have to change the way they plan their content if readers begin to expect “connected books,”

At the PRINT 17 show, I picked up two books and a magazine that demonstrated augmented reality technologies that publishers could use to make printed publications more interactive.

Book: Introduction to Graphic Communication

Two leading experts in printing and publishing technologies showed a prototype of an updated edition of the popular textbook, “Introduction to Graphic Communication.” The goal is to show designers and publishers how they can combine the permanence of print with the vitality of interactive communications.

The key to making the hybrid print/digital book possible is a new Clickable Paper technology from Ricoh. Unlike scannable QR codes that only connect readers to a single website, Ricoh’s Clickable Paper Technology makes it possible to connect with multiple online experiences, including video, social networks, audio content, and live chat.

As you read through the book, you can use the free Clickar app on your tablet or smartphone to access video and other media that helps clarify the content. You can also connect and chat with other people who are reading the book.

This updated version of “Introduction to Graphic Communication”  is being coauthored by Dr. Harvey Levenson, former Head of Graphic Communication at California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, and John Parsons of the Intu Ideas non-fiction writing and publishing consultancy firm. The prototype book distributed at PRINT 17 contained two chapters: Chapter 2 covers the History of Printed Communications. Chapter 8 discusses various types of Printing Processes.

The authors said the ability to marge print and online media changed they way they wrote. Parsons said, “Adding multimedia has made me a more visual writer.” The ability to include links to external media meant they could put less on each page.

“We found no shortage of ways to use the printed book as a ‘platform’ for directing the reader to curated digital content,” said Parsons. For some content, they captured webcam video (using several takes) and edited the results. For other content, they sought permission from creators of YouTube videos and collaborated with Viddler, a developer of video-based training technology.

“We’re not publishing an e-book,” Parsons emphasizes. “This is about a new way to demonstrate the inherent strengths of print.” The authors note that print is a stable medium that can point the way to selected content or interactive connections. They believes digital media isn’t an replacement for printed books, but as a potential extension of a a centuries-long history of innovation.

Book: The Third Wave

The book “The Third Wave” by Joseph W. Webb and Richard M. Romano uses HP Link technology to help owners of printing businesses understand how smarter mobile phones, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things will affect printing businesses.

Readers who download the HP LinkReader can scan hyperlinked text and images to get more information, watch a video, or listen to a song. At the end of each chapter, the authors include a short series of survey questions. The answers enable the authors to learn more about the types of business owners who are reading the book.

In addition to engaging book readers, HP Link Technology can be used on packages and other printed products. The HP Link technology delivers serialized marks that enable creators of printed products to securely track individual products throughout its entire lifecycle. These marks can help prevent thefts and diversion of products, reduce counterfeiting, and assist with product recalls,

The pages of the book were  printed on an HP PageWide WebPress T240HD and the cover was output on an HP Indigo digital press. “The Third Wave” interactive book was published by King Printing Co., a Lowell, Massachusetts-based company that provides short-run book-printing services for more than 10,000 authors and publishers.

Magazine: Out of Chaos

“Out of Chaos” is a digitally printed version of the online magazine published by the color-management experts at Rods and Cones.  The printed articles are enhanced with Stampatech “Print Infinity” technology.

Stampatech augmented-reality technology recognizes photographs and logos on printed books, labels, marketing literature, or packaging and triggers interactive content. Users of the app can learn more about the product, give feedback, or even make purchases.

An article in “Out of Chaos” magazine features excerpts from the white paper “Has Augmented Reality Really Gone Mainstream?” by Cindy Walas and Kevin Keane.

The Spring 2017 issue of the magazine was printed, bound, and trimmed on the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP digital press.

Hologon Technology Helps Brand Marketers Blend Physical and Digital Worlds

Fusion92 LogoFusion92 is a Chicago-based independent marketing innovation agency. The company helps growth-stage and Fortune 500 companies with marketing, media, creative services, innovation and consumer engagement.

One of the newest marketing innovations from Fusion92 is the “Hologon,” a brand-engagement technology that allows consumers to experience holographic videos with a mobile device and Fusion92’s patent-pending viewer.

When the mobile device is directed to a designated URL and the viewer is placed on the surface of the horizontally held tablet or smartphone, the hologram comes to life before your eyes.

Hologen - Fusion92Because the “Hologon” viewer is designed to pop-up and self-assemble, it can fold flat for insertion in magazines, direct mail, or product packaging. To optimize the user experience across various mobile devices, Fusion92 also developed a custom video player.

“We’re extremely excited about the launch of Hologon. It’s a great representation of our skills, and we believe it has enormous market potential,” said Matt Murphy, Fusion92 president and CEO. “Creating innovative products and solutions is what we do. Hologon™ is another tangible example of how we help our clients break through the clutter ahead of their competition.”

“While the concept itself isn’t unique, the amount of R&D that went into this product to make it user friendly, scalable and accessible across all mobile devices was immense,” said Jacob Beckley, VP technology and innovation. “This product further demonstrates Fusion92’s commitment to the convergence of the digital and physical worlds.”

Since 2013, Fusion92, has been filing one to two patents a year. Those patents have focused mostly on advertising and marketing technologies that blend well with Fusion92’s integrated agency services model.
Learn more at


Epson’s Digital Couture Project Will Inspire Fashion Entrepreneurs

At their third annual Digital Couture Project, Epson will show fashion designers and fashion entrepreneurs some of the limitless design possibilities created by advanced digital imaging technology. In keeping with the theme “Textile Stories,” 13 design teams from North and Latin America will leverage Epson’s world-class textile printing solutions in a one-of-a-kind fashion presentation.

The Digital Couture Project  is scheduled February 7, two days before the official start of Fashion Week in New York City.

Digital Couture Project Logo

“In the high-fashion business, nothing stands still. The designer’s vision is constantly advancing, ultimately creating and driving fashion trends that change how we look and feel,” said Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO, Epson America, Inc. “Our goal with the Digital Couture event is to spotlight the power and potential that digital printing technology plays in the apparel industry.  From haute couture to sports team apparel, Epson technology gives designers and apparel manufacturers the digital platform necessary to launch the next great design.”

Epson Digital Couture Project


At the Digital Couture Project event, each designer or design team will tell a story through their collection via textiles created with Epson dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing technology. These technologies enable high-quality, original prints on fabrics that will convey the signature style of each designer.

Design teams featured at the Digital Couture event include:

  1. Argentina – Vanesa Krongold
  2. Brazil – Daniel Barreira
  3. Canada – Sarah Stevenson
  4. Chile – Daniela Hoehmann
  5. Colombia – Ricardo Pava
  6. Costa Rica – Daniel Del Barco and Sonia Chang
  7. Dominican Republic – Carlos de Moya
  8. Ecuador – Miguel Moyano, Alex Polo and Maria Susana Rivadeneira Simball
  9. Mexico – Leonardo Mena
  10. Peru – Susan Wagner
  11. United States – Lindsay Degen
  12. United States – Sarah Richards
  13. United States – Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University

“For the third year in a row, the Epson Digital Couture event showcases how digital textile printing helps designers expand their vision for creativity without limits,” said Agustin Chacon, Epson America’s vice president of international marketing. “The future of fashion and technology is in the process of being shaped. We are excited to be at the forefront of the industry – providing designers with printing solutions that offer a host of new and exciting opportunities.”

Technology Showcase

During the Technology Showcase portion of the Digital Couture Project, Epson’s global president, Minoru Usui, will outline Epson’s continued vision for the role that digital technology will play in fashion.

A panel of fashion and apparel industry experts will discuss market trends and the role of technology in fashion. The panel will be moderated by Anthony Cenname, vice president and publisher at WSJ Magazine.

The 2017 Digital Couture Project event will also serve as the official introduction of the Robustelli-Epson brand to the international fashion community. Based in Como, Italy, Robustelli has developed and manufactured the Monna Lisa series of digital textile printing equipment with technical support from Epson. Robustelli became part of the Epson Group in June, 2016.

Attendees at the Digital Couture Project event will see an array of textiles that have been printed on the Robustelli equipment.


Monna Lisa Textile Printer

Epson Digital Textile Printing Solutions

“New technologies from Epson are allowing designers to push the boundaries of color and quality while simultaneously giving creative teams incredible versatility and productivity,” said Kratzberg.

Epson’s dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies give entrepreneurs and fashion brands the creative freedom to print on a variety of fabrics, including cotton and synthetic fibers.

The Epson SureColor® F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology gives designers an accessible means to bring their ideas and inspiration to life. The Epson UltraChrome® DS ink in these printers has an all new high density Black ink. The density of the black ink delivers printed designs with better tonal transitions, rich colors, and smooth gradations. The Wasatch SoftRIP workflow software included with the printer includes features for textile and fashion printing. The software enables designers to create and print original designs with greater flexibility and control.

Epson SureColor F Series

The Epson SureColor F2000 Series direct-to-garment (DTG) ink jet printers can print high-quality images directly onto garments. The printers can handle fabrics ranging from 100 percent cotton to 50/50 fabric blends.

The SureColor F2000 offers fashion entrepreneurs a quality, affordable printing solution. The Epson SureColor F2000 Standard Edition is a high-speed CMYK-only model and the White Edition offers the added benefit of white ink for printing on dark or color fabrics.

Epson SureColor F2000

Fashion designers and professionals interested in learning more about Epson’s digital printing technologies can visit For more information about Digital Couture, visit

Design Interactive Uses Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality Training

Canon U.S.A. has selected Design Interactive in Orlando, Florida as the first value-added reseller of Canon MREAL system for Mixed Reality in the United States. The MREAL System for Mixed Reality is a visualization tool that seamlessly combines the real and virtual worlds for a powerful immersive experience.

Design Interactive is a leading provider of training system development and experts in human-machine interaction. Design Interactive will sell the MREAL system as part of the specialized training they develop for government and industry clients who have employees in high-risk situations.

Canon MREAL Headset
Head-mounted display for Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality

“We are pleased to welcome Design Interactive as a Canon MREAL reseller,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, executive vice president and general manager, BISG, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Through Canon’s MREAL System for Mixed Reality and integrated Training Management System, users in high-risk industries will be able to visualize a potentially dangerous scenario before they have to encounter it in the real world.”

Preparing for Dangerous Situations

High risk training is a specialized form of training for tasks that involve a high degree of risks related to safety or costs. High risk training is provided to professionals who are asked to work in environments that are normally dangerous or inaccessible.

The MREAL system is uniquely suited for high risk training because it can immerse users in virtual scenarios while allowing them to still see the real world – including their hands, tools, colleagues, and instructors.

Eileen Smith, Director, E2i Creative Studio at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation & Training, said “High risk environments are multi-layered, and involve understanding how events put in motion will resolve themselves. Context is key in training, and the MREAL system allows the context to be altered easily and frequently to challenge a trainee throughout their journey toward excellence.”

Dr. Kay Stanney, CEO at Design Interactive said “The MREAL system provides a truly seamless and compelling blend between the virtual and real worlds. We are confident that it will help us deliver effective, engaging and value-added training solutions to government and industry clients.”

The integrated solution that Design Interactive will provide to its clients includes three key parts:

MREAL Display MD-10: Released in the U.S. in July 2016, the MREAL Display MD-10 features an expanded field of view and higher resolution than earlier models. The MD-10 enables trainees to immerse themselves in the virtual training scenario while still seeing real objects clearly and precisely.

MREAL Training Management System (MREAL TMS): The MREAL TMS acts as a central dashboard to collect and measure key performance metrics.  Instructors can review key data points and benchmarks to assess the trainee’s overall performance and retention. The MREAL TMS also integrates with select Learning Management Systems so instructors can incorporate the data into a broader curriculum.

MREAL Plug-In for Unity 3D: This tool enables instructors to leverage existing 3D content for training scenarios. The 3D content can easily be launched as part of an immersive experience within the MREAL system.

With these combined solutions, Canon and Design Interactive will bring next-generation capabilities enabling clients to reach mastery on complex tasks that can later be used in life-threatening situations in the field.

Mountainside Rescuers under Fire

In a post on the Design Interactive blog, Design Interactive experts discuss a mixed reality experience they developed to demonstrate the power of Canon’s Mixed Reality platform at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Conference.

Design Interactive Canon MREAL
In a Design Interactive demonstration of the type of training that’s possible with Canon’s MREAL mixed-reality system I/ITSEC attendees could handle physical objects while visualizing the high-risk environment.

With Design Interactive’s mixed-reality experience, conference attendees visualized what it would be like to stand at the precipice of a bottomless void in the snow and be required to harness themselves to an icy rock wall so they could repel to help an injured warfighter. In the middle of the experience, the trainee takes fire. Another warfighter takes a bullet and the attendee must spring into action, applying a tourniquet under fire.

The Design Interactive blog post clarifies the differences between augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality systems. Unlike virtual reality systems like the Oculus Rift, MREAL provides the flexibility to couple virtual and physical elements. For example, your hands disappear from view if you lift your hands to your eyes while wearing an Oculus product. With MREAL, trainees can always see their hands, instructors, and the tools they need to accomplish the task.

Like augmented reality, the MREAL allows trainers to provide visualizations of instructions that can help trainees navigate or perform the task.

Designers of MREAL training exercises can choose to make the experience fully virtual or customize the amount of virtual content that is required for the job.

In addition to high-risk training, Canon is promoting the MREAL system for use in education, research, and manufacturing.


Electric Objects Wants Everyone to Display Digital Art

Electric Objects is a digital art platform that wants to put digital art on a wall in every home. The company’s first two initiatives include the development of the EO1 display and Art Club collections.


EO1 is an Internet-connected screen designed specifically for art. In addition to displaying high-resolution images and digitally created art, EO1 can play video and animations. Priced at $299, EO1 fits elegantly into any home.

The matte 1080p high-definition display features ultra-wide viewing angles and ambient light awareness.  It is not too bright and not too muted. The EO1 was designed to look more like a luminous oil painting than a glowing monitor.

Electric Objects Display
The EO1 display. Art by Folkert Gorter.

With the free iOS or Android app, you can use your smartphone to change the art on the wall. You can explore thousands of artwork shared by the Electric Objects community or browse the curated collection of original work in Electric Objects’ Art Club. Display any art in the app with the tap of a button.

Art Club

Art Club is a collection of hundreds of original works of art made exclusively for Electric Objects. Through the Art Club, Electric Objects supports artists interested in making work for display on the EO1.

In 2016, the Electric Objects Art Club Fund expects to spend $100,000 to commission new works of digital art. Artists are selected through periodic open calls for applications. Selected artists receive a commission of $500 and a free EO1.

Electric Objects Display
Display by Electric Objects. Art by Zolloc.

Electric Objects introduces new collections two or three times a week. They immediately invite EO1 owners to display the art in their homes.

Electric Objects has displayed the work of Art Club Artists at NADA Miami, the New Museum in New York City, and at the Electric Objects showroom in New York.

To learn about open calls, sign up for the Electric Objects artist newsletter.

Mobile Journalism App Can Help You Tell the Story on Video

Potential buyers of books, art, and photographs always want to know the story behind the work. Once you’ve told your story in the form of a blog or Facebook post, you can repurpose the content as a video script. Then, use the BIGVU mobile journalism app on your smartphone to tell your story on video. The in-app teleprompter displays your script on the screen and adjusts the scrolling speed to match the speed with which you read the script.

The BIGVU instant-journalism app can turn your smartphone into a pocket-sized TV studio, complete with a teleprompter, titling overlays, and studio backdrops.  Whether you are recording the video in your office,  studio, or home, BIGVU can make it appear as if you were presenting a story in a professional television newsroom.

An advanced background subtraction algorithm transforms any location or environment to a professional virtual studio with an eye-catching, elegant backdrop.

BGVU also includes tools for converting high-quality photos and tweets into video sequences.

BigVu mobile journalism app“Office, home or in the field; this is the fastest news clip creator on the market,” said David Amselem, CEO of BIGVU.

Freelancers can use the free app to produce up to 15 videos per month. Paid subscriptions are available for small, medium, and enterprise groups of journalists, content marketing producers, and YouTube video creators.

For more information and examples of what’s possible, visit


Acanvas Expands In-Home Art Discovery with Hi-Res Display Platform

ARTISTS. Art discovery options are expanding with the launch of the Acanvas art-streaming app and self-charging art-display platform. Acanvas is making it possible for art lovers to display a steady stream of classic or contemporary art from Fine Art America.  Acanvas developed the art discovery platform to making learning about new artists as easy and as accessible as streaming music.

“With Acanvas, interior design and technology come together to bring millions of works of art to empty walls everywhere,” said Dan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Acanvas. “Our self-charging battery system makes our display as easy to hang as any traditionally framed print or painting.”

The display platform consists of a Wi-Fi connected, 23-inch, high-definition display from LG Electronics USA. The onboard, battery system features a motorized, retractable cord that connects to a portable charging dock. The slim, easy-to-mount display can be customized with matte frames that match the owner’s décor.

Acanvas-charging dock-withpuckinserted

From the Acanvas app on an iOS or Android mobile device, users can select “Art Stations” curated by Fine Art America and stream a continuous flow of art to the display. From the app, users can control how long each piece is displayed before it is replaced by another one.

While viewing art in a Pandora-like “art station” such as seascapes, bold primaries, and dynamic abstracts, users can learn more about different genres of art and discover new artists.


Users can also browse for specific art to add to their personal libraries within the Acanvas app. Or, users can hang and showcase personal photos from anywhere, either within the home or remotely. The first units are expected to ship during the fourth quarter of 2016. Pre-orders are currently being accepted.

About Acanvas

Acanvas is an emerging start-up based in Santa Clara, California. The independent company began as a research project within the LG Silicon Valley Lab (SVL). The Acanvas platform is supported by a partnership with Fine Art America.

“Acanvas allows us to further our mission of connecting people to the art and artists they love,” said Sean Broihier, CEO of Fine Art America.

Fine Art America, which was established in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest online art marketplaces. Hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers have uploaded millions of images to the Fine Art America website and thousands of new members and images are added each week.