Print meets augmented reality

Metaio has putted print in an entirely new perspective by combining it with augmented reality.

How many times by now have you come across a discussion in which people argue wether print is dead or not? Despite which side you’re on, there is something which can’t be argued with. And that’s that Metaio has put print in an entirely new perspective by combining it with augmented reality. For the first time ever (that’s what they claim) it is possible to enhance print with interactive 3D information.

To realize this, Metaio uses what they call the ‘Unifeye’ platform. All the experience required is a computer and a simple webcam. The webcam recognizes patterns amongst the printed content and enhances it directly with virtual content.

It’s a beautiful combination of the ‘new’ and the ‘old’. Marshall McLuhan showed us how new media tries to copy the old. It’s interesting to now see how old media can be enhanced using the new. It’s print made interactive. Just think of all the possibilities this technology offers. Reading a novel could evolve into an interactive cinematic experience in which you can participate. An ensemble between interactive film and printed media without losing the detail which is often lost when a novel is filmed. And don’t forget educational purposes; learning might never be the same again.

Here is a short video of the technology two years ago when it was still in a more or less experimental phase. They released their first real product on the market now which is an atlas. A small video of that can be seen here on their website.

Dennis Koks

Dennis Koks (1987, The Netherlands) is a designer | conceptual thinker for interactive media and co-founder of Transparent Spaces. Dennis is fascinated about the social impact of interactive design and how it can improve our daily lives.

3 comments on this article

  1. Thx for the link Stephen. I’ve got a PS3 as well and I’m definitly going to buy this one. Interesting to see how the concept pops up in different contexts.

  2. Pingback: Johnny Holland - It’s all about interaction » Blog Archive » Lego’s experiments with interactive packaging