Up in the sky! It’s a QR code! It’s augmented reality! Wait, I don’t know what to call it!
I recently read an article over on Mashable about what The Atlantic is doing to enhance their print experience. While I did like the fact that a “155 year old magazine” is doing something that’s only existed for the past few years, I had a chuckle at the multiple updates appended to the article.
There definitely seems to be a little confusion about what AR, aka ‘Augmented Reality’ actually is. For those of us in the industry, we generally hear the term “augmented reality” and associate that with apps like Junaio, which produce some cool 3D graphics that appear to pop-out from the page. Producing the AR experience in an app like Junaio requires downloading complex files to run (which take a long time to load), and keeping your mobile device perfectly positioned over the page so the AR experience lines up. You CAN move your AR app away from the page, but moving your phone from the page diminishes the experience and the AR effect is lost.
Some have called Digimarc Discover augmented reality, which — although we don't use that language in our brochures and such — we're fine with the association. Because, really, we enable an enhanced reader experience in print just like Augmented Reality, except our solution is easier to use, widely known, and a more affordable option for publishers, brands, and agencies. Let's not forget — we are the pioneers of connecting attractive print content sans QR codes.