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Reynolds Press' Augmented Reality App
Reynolds Press has launched an Augmented Reality app – believed to be the first in the print industry – to act as a demonstration tool to show prospects how designs look in the real world.
Reynolds Press is a print business based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. It was established in the 1940s and has since built a reputation for high-quality creative work and bespoke designs. As part of its drive to be an industry leader and a print-world innovator, Reynolds Press is interested in new capabilities and processes that can help its business work smarter.
Reynolds Press wanted to establish a genuine competitive advantage by using the latest technology to grow the business and demonstrate its innovative nature.
Award-winning creative technology agency 4 Roads was engaged by Reynolds Press after pitching an idea about using AR to boost its business. The application pitched by 4 Roads was workshopped as part of an ongoing development partnership between the two businesses.
Through this process it was decided that an app would be developed. The app could be used by Reynolds to show prospective clients how Augmented Reality (AR) designs for signage, packaging labels, and exhibition stands could look in the real world and would have significant benefits.
“The reason we originally pitched for our idea to Reynolds was that we could see an opportunity to use cutting edge technologies and new techniques to create an application with a real-world use, that would also feel ground-breaking and fresh,” said Robert Nash, chief executive officer of 4 Roads.
“To our knowledge, there’s no-one in the print world currently using Augmented Reality this way. That means we can provide Reynolds with a genuine competitive edge and support them as their needs change.”
4 Roads then created a 3D model of an exhibition stand – complete with signage and exhibits – and dropped this into video game engine Unity to bring it to life. 4 Roads then transferred it to the AR platform Vuforia which enabled it to add this new customer experience to the existing app.
Now, with just a smartphone and the app, Reynolds can also help its clients get up close and personal with a virtual rendering of how their signage might look on a building. They can also use a marker to show how an entire exhibition space (and all the exhibits within) would look once created.
When Reynolds asked if it was possible to deepen the user experience even further (and add additional ‘wow factor’), 4 Roads added in a new AR capability into the app.
This additional feature enables customers to explore the look and feel of a whole exhibition stand in AR without having to be in the exhibition space for it to make sense.
To enable this new AR capability, 4 Roads used marker-based technology to create a version of Reynolds’ logo. A marker is simply a distinctive image at which a smartphone can be pointed then, using the app and phone’s camera function, the AR is overlaid.
"To our knowledge, there’s no-one in the print world currently using Augmented Reality this way. That means we can provide Reynolds with a genuine competitive edge and support them as their needs change."
The ability of Reynolds Press to now share design and quality options with potential clients makes the decision-making process much easier for them.
“It’s a win/win, we become the trusted innovative supplier and the client knows exactly what they’re getting,” says Steve Ray, managing director of Reynolds Press.
“If we’re designing signage, we can stand outside a prospective client’s office, run the app and point it at the building. We’ll run through different designs, sizes, colours and our cient will see all options as they would appear once the work finished. It gives them confidence and encourages them to work with us.”
The addition of AR has helped enhance the user experience for Reynolds’ prospects and ensures the app is an even more powerful and persuasive tool for turning them into customers.
“If we are designing exhibitions,” adds Steve Ray, “we can now walk the client through our designs (literally) with full 360-degree visualisations.”
The addition of the AR marker functionality to the app has already allowed Reynolds Press to create a 3D image of an exhibition stand and, as a result, win a lucrative new piece of business. Presenting the client with a rendering 4 Roads created, of how their exhibition stand could look, using AR technology, was a significant factor in Reynolds winning the new client.
However, perhaps the most exciting result of the AR development project is the way in which it has opened previously unexplored markets for Reynolds Press.
“In our world, value lies in speed and certainty,” adds Steve Ray. “This technology has the potential to expand our brand and services into new areas. For example, this application could accurately demonstrate to a potential client how a new vehicle livery could look. That’s all very exciting for us.”