Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The New Future of Printed Books?

Have you discovered Blippar yet?  

It’s established in the UK and used by supermarkets, Cadbury, newspapers and more. You just point your smart phone loaded with the Blippar app at the poster, building, product wrapper or page and something happens (you don’t have to take a photo, tap the screen or do anything, as required when scanning one of those QR codes made up of little squares, and you don’t get taken to a landing page).

Your phone may immediately show you a building tour, give you vouchers, a video of a chunk of chocolate leaving the package and aiming towards your mouth (I made that up, I’ve no idea what happens when you aim at a Cadbury’s product – it’s getting late and I’m running low on energy), or for those people who are impatient, deliver the answers to today’s crossword. Of course, as an alternative, you could be sent to a website or provided with other useful information, if that’s the initiator’s choice. Point your phone towards a picture of a watch in an advert and automatically on screen you get shown all the colour varieties, finishes, strap designs, price and a 3D view of the product that you can explore.

And if you are enjoying your Blippar experience, tap the logo on your screen and you will have automatically Tweeted it and sent it to your Facebook followers.

Could this technology be the future of print books – hold your phone over the page and get an interaction with a character, a game, 3D tour or extra action, background information or a video of a craft technique while you still have the whole print page in view? Or hold the phone near to a book’s cover or a picture of it, or your business card, and the phone user immediately gets shown a trailer, given a buying incentive, or taken to your website or a bookstore’s site...

Count me in – I hope it’s soon in frequent use here in Australia and throughout the rest of the world.

Peter Taylor 

PS I understand that at present, Blippar techno-folk build the actions as instructed by the product owners, but plans are being made to enable publishers and self-publishers to build features into their own works.

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