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Metro makes print pages interactive with augmented reality

Daily newspaper Metro is using augmented reality to connect readers with content such as coupons and videos.

The company teamed up with Blippar on the mobile initiative. Users can download the Blippar mobile app to interact with the content.

?Our goal is to educate readers on how print publications ? in this case, Metro ? and ultimately any printed, physical image or object can become an interactive experience simply by looking at it through a smart device,? said Jess Butcher, co-founder/chief marketing officer of Blippar.
?By adding this fun, interactive layer, we hope to not only help reinvigorate print, but also maximize the advertising opportunities in newspapers and magazines as well,? she said.

Interactive content
Readers can open the Blippar mobile app and hover their device over Metro content.

From there, users can see videos, get coupons, shop online or unlock myriad other interactive content experiences.

Metro officially launched Blippar in the Summer Movie Preview issue on May.

Readers were able to virtually try on the Iron Man suit, answer a celebrity gossip poll, reveal hidden content and see a movie trailer. 

Augmented reality
Augmented reality is a smart move for Metro and more marketers are hopping on the bandwagon.

The technology is still new, but more companies are testing it out as a new way to connect with consumers and keep up with the every-changing mobile ecosystem.  

?Now that the technology is faster and more reliable, augmented reality will move quickly away from being a gimmick and will shift toward an everyday behavior, where users interact with brands and media in compelling ways,? Ms. Butcher said.

?More focus on high-quality content and the value it offers the user will become even more imperative as we bring blipping to the mainstream,? she said.

?Ultimately, our business model is inherently tied to a win-win for both parties, which means if they are successful, then blipping is, too.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York