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If you’re like me, you spend enough time tapping away at your smartphone that you sometimes forget other surfaces...
If you’re like me, you spend enough time tapping away at your smartphone that you sometimes forget other surfaces aren’t clickable. Maybe you’re looking at a menu, and tap on an item hoping for more information. You see an ad on the train and want to tap it so you can learn more about the product. Admit it, it happens.
Well, thanks to a new technology by the imaging company Ricoh, Clickable Paper promises to make the print world a more interactive experience. True, you can’t actually click the paper, and yes, we’ve heard this all before with QR codes. But there are some big differences between Clickable Paper and QR.
First, QR is ugly. There’s no getting around it: With QR codes, the only way to get consumers to interact with your printed work is to put what looks like an unsightly birthmark on the page. Clickable Paper bypasses the need to print anything other than the content you want seen.
Using authoring software, you can identify hotspots on your page—it can be text or an image—and the interactive portion is pushed as an image to a Ricoh Visual Server. Using a smartphone app, your user can take a photo of the page, or any portion of the page, and anything the server recognizes will bring up associated content.
“Associated content” is the important part here. With QR, a user could only be directed to one location: whichever website you want them to link to. But, really, in the time it takes to open a QR app, frame the code, focus on it, and get an image, you could just type in the URL. But with Clickable Paper, you can author all kinds of content and present the user with choices right from the app, before being taken to some website.
You can provide links to the product on Amazon for a quick price check, to a PDF version of the operator’s manual, or to an online review of the product—anything, really. With this level of interactivity, Ricoh has provided a new way for publishers and advertisers to really extend their content.
It also probably means that your grandparents will be calling you on Sundays because they can’t figure out how to work the newspaper—you’ve got to take the good with the bad, I suppose.