QR Code Is Old Technology, Augmented Reality Based Print-To-Digital Emerges
Even before the QR code concept is fully adopted in travel industry, QR code has started losing its shine. QR code dominated (and still) the print and digital medium of communication by all airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies etc. ‘Shortened-URL’ was seen as an alternative or equivalent of QR code. But, technically these two are different and each has its own merit and demerit. Now, Augmented Reality (AR) is considered as the new QR code. Augmented Reality has been in existence since 2008 / 09 days. AR is setting a trend in the market and its picking up.
Let’s focus only on print media in this article. Print travel media is now replacing QR codes with AR based scanning.
An example use case of a travel magazine:
John is reading a (print) travel leisure magazine. He is focused on the article about new roller coaster ride in ‘Six Flags’ (in the US). He looks into the picture of roller coaster and notices the text “Scan Me”. He picks up his smartphone, opens an AR supported app and scans the roller coaster picture. The app scans the picture and loads the video of roller coaster in mobile. John enjoys the roller coaster visually and decides to pay a visit to Six Flags. Then, he notices another picture that says “Book your Six Flags tickets here”. He repeats the scan process and he is now taken to Six Flags website and offered a 5% discount because he came from a print media.
How this works:
1. You upload a picture in a AR supported website say abc.com
2. You will be able to define the call to action for the picture. The CTA could be – Call Back, Submit Form, Video, Website, Download Brochure, Show Directions, Display Review etc.
3. Upload the corresponding CTA material into abc.com. For above example use case, you will have to upload a picture of roller coaster and a corresponding roller coaster video, a book now picture and the URL where the user should be directed to.
4. The AR platform processes the image and gives you a final picture.
5. Print the final picture (typically, they write an app recognizable text on the image, say ‘Scan Me’)
6. Scan the picture in paper with AR supported app and the call to action will be executed
This print-to-digital concept isn’t new. It’s been in existence for sometime and now the trend is picking up. Lonely Planet has adopted this concept (they use Layar’s platform).
Technically, this AR enabled print-to-digital concept can simply be seen as a picturized-QR code. The ugly looking QR code is being replaced with a good looking picture.
Overall Summary: Digital media is revolutionizing travel publications. But, the traditional print media like travel guides, travel magazines, travel books, travel maps etc aren’t dead. Print mediums are adapting digital concepts and staying relevant in this binary world. We strongly believe that irrespective of the evolution of paper-sized tablets / mobile phones, the print media will still stay relevant for next couple of years (only if digital adaption happens).
Image credit: Layar.com
Author: Karthick Prabu