Printing Images

real people, good printing, happy clients

Company News:

AR vs. QR Codes

What's The Difference Between Them?


By Siobhan Tabor

Augmented Reality (AR) is something relatively new to the printing world, and QR codes have been around a while. Most people have heard of Quick Response Codes(QR), but in case you've just awaken from a very long, deep sleep, a QR code is a barcode that is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. These have been around for years and pretty much everyone knows that when you see them you take your hand held device and scan the barcode. pic of ar and qr logo Augmented Reality (AR) is QR on steroids!! Okay, so that's my opinion and nowhere listed in anybody's definition, but it really is something you should consider as an enhancement to your QR code campaigns, or as a feature rich alternative. When using AR in a printed piece, the printed page itself represents your scannable image (i.e. your page *is* your QR code image.) This is achievable through a process called image recognition, and because of it, you're free to do most any unique design layout you can come up with for scanning. Our AR services offer some best practices for designing your pieces that will help you get the most out of your campaigns and ensure a great user experience. After you scan the page using the free Layar app, a "hidden" layer of virtual content is displayed. You can have sound, video, or graphics that come to life on your smart phone or tablet. You can direct the user to an ordering site for registration purposes or to buy or sign up for something, you can increase your social media presence by having the reader like you on social sites, or you can have a video that welcomes the reader to a meeting or convention. All of these resources offer huge opportunities for customer engagement and for promoting your brand. AR sounds fabulous doesn't it? It's a really awesome "add on" to a printed piece for a more feature rich experience. And there's no need to sacrifice your investments in QR, the Layar app reads QR codes as well! So you can have AR and QR side by side without jumping between apps.

We started offering AR last spring and it really adds that extra something to printed pieces, not to mention it brings print to life! Because it's new there is some confusion, okay a lot of confusion, about how Augmented Reality actually differs from Quick Response codes. Here are a few key differences that my super smart marketing guru put together to help illustrate the differences:

  • Scanability & Design: With AR there's no need for a barcode, information is not embedded. AR works off of image recognition and then displays the interactive material.
  • Ability to Feature More (with a Sleek Design): You can have multiple "features" meaning you can have a video playing in one area, a button to click to a website in another, and then a button to click and open up and send an email off. You are not restricted to one thing per scan (as with QR), and it can play into your printed piece so it's much better with the design and look of the buttons and each button having different actions to each.
  • Analytics: You receive analytics for your AR pieces. Most QR codes do not have analytics. All Layar pieces have analytics on views and click through rates.

So AR's scanning technology and design, ability to link to multiple features in one piece (video, images, and buttons) and analytics behind the piece brings more to the table than QR could ever do alone.

Call us today for your free demo of AR using the free app "Layar". We're calling this Printeractive and we love to show it off.

Siobhan Tabor is the Sales Manager at Printing Images, Inc., and she's absolutely luminous. Whenever she's around, clients just have an uncontrollable urge to buy something. Yeah, we can't explain it either.

For more news and helpful tips, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

prev: Year-End Party Arrives Just In Time See Also: All About That Print Lyrics