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An Association Adviser interview with Marcus Underwood.

From slick consumer magazines, to nuts-and-bolts trade journals, augmented reality is getting lots of buzz these days by content shapers anxious to hold readers’ attention in an increasingly digital age. To help separate the WOW factor from the real-world practicalities of AR, we turned to Naylor’s Chief Innovation Officer, Marcus Underwood, for some clarity.




Association Adviser: What is augmented reality (AR) and why should association publishing professionals get familiar with it?

Marcus Underwood

Marcus Underwood, Chief Innovation Officer, Naylor

Marcus Underwood: Augmented reality (AR) is technology that allows for a digitally enhanced view of the real world. With the camera and sensors in a smartphone or tablet, AR adds layers of digital information—videos, photos, sounds—directly on top of items in the world around us.

AA: Can you give us an example of AR in action?

MU: Sure. A typical example would be holding your smartphone over a magazine page, and then the elements of the page (when viewed through the phone) would come to life.

AA: Without getting too technical, how does AR work and what does an association (or reader) need in order to make the most of the AR reading experience?

MU: AR uses image recognition technology to identify predefined images, and then performs certain actions when those images are identified. By using AR content management tools, a publisher can scan a PDF file of any content element (i.e. magazine, conference brochure, or signage) and then tell the software what to do when that image is recognized in the viewer.

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