AR and NFC: Setting the Table
For Maxim, it was a no-brainer. When print and technology services provider Quad/Graphics came to them with a proposal to bring cover models to life with an augmented reality app, the lad mag saw a clear opportunity to enhance the magazine's appeal to its primarily 18-35 year-old male audience.
"We look at all new platforms as a place to be," says Ben Madden, President of Maxim. "An opportunity like this to bring the magazine to life and create another level of engagement seemed like the perfect opportunity for us."
Augmented reality, or AR, which allows smartphone, tablet and desktop users to turn pictures into enhanced, moving images when a print product is held up to a camera, has been around for a few years, but only lately has begun to take off in the magazine, newspaper and book world. Like QR Codes, the technology requires an app interface to work; the reward (for users, publishers and marketers) is extra interaction with content.
"Image recognition allows us to use the seamless brand content, the actual pages themselves, to drive recognition ... in a fashion where people get to spend as much time as they want with the brands they really like," says Matt Kammerait, Product Manager of Interactive Print Solutions at Quad/Graphics, who worked with Maxim to create the AR cover (legacy printer Quad has aggressively entered the print-to-mobile technology space, working with publishers like Alpha Media Group and Condé Nast).
Kammerait says augmented reality and image recognition (IR), a similar technology which connects readers to targeted Web content, offer the potential for "building brands and telling stories, much like what broadcast advertising can do … This allows you to being those same type of extended experiences to print and and to leverage digital content you've already created."