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.