It may not be April yet, but I’m ready to talk about showers – the kind that require doors, that is.
Patrick Cobb, the visionary at Coastal Industries, his family’s business, came up with the idea of using Augmented Reality (AR) in the company’s new Buyer’s Guide, essentially a product catalog.
What do they manufacture? Top-tier and very elegant shower doors.
This catalog would not have made such an impact on me had it not been for two things:
- We are in the process of redoing our bathroom at home and recently shopped for shower doors. It was totally frustrating to be shown an ordinary, 3-ring notebook at the plumbing showroom when we wanted to see shower door options. Rudimentary drawings, no color, impossible to picture what we were looking at. For a major expense, I want to see what I might be buying.
- The printer, Drummond Press of Jacksonville, FL, sent me a few samples of the catalog they just printed for Coastal. When I tell you that they arrived at the height of a recent Boston snowstorm, and that the UPS man (God love him) trudged up the stairs through 10” of snow, believe me.
It was worth it, UPS man! This catalog is gorgeous. From its regal size (9 ½” x 12”), one rounded corner (upper right, though not reflected in the accompanying image), 48 or so pages of image after image, and all printed on smooth-as-cream HannoArt Silk paper (129# cover, 80# text), it’s a stunning showcase for, of all things, shower doors.
The design is smart and airy. Lots of white space so your eyes tend to linger on the products. A very cool typeface (Neutraface) with generous leading in the paragraphs. You really don’t see catalogs like this often – except for cars, jewelry and other luxury items.
I saved the best for last.
This catalog was printed with Augmented Reality (AR) technology built in. Al Bagocius of Drummond sent me a few handsome samples after reading my recent blog post about AR, in which I shared Daniel Dejan’s advice and resources.
The Coastal catalog uses AR technology by Layar (www.layar.com), and boy, how fun it is to go through this printed piece!
Scan a page, and up pops imagery that shows you variations on a particular model. Just use your smartphone, download the free Layar app (there’s even a QR code on the inside front cover to get you this app), and scan the full page wherever you see the “Scan this page” notice and icon. It’s easy. It works.
Sometimes the Layar scan gets you to videos about a particular model. Often, you can share what you’ve scanned as well, as this functionality is built in.
you can share what you’ve scanned as well, as this functionality is built in.
AR makes printing fun. It certainly makes using this product catalog fun – and functional.
You can use the Layar app on the digital version of the catalog as well, and you’ll get a sense of how magical it is. Personally, I prefer my magic in print.
Wouldn’t distributors of similar products benefit? Lighting fixtures, tiles, carpeting, furniture, and speaking from recent experience, I’d love to have seen a catalog from Elfa, the closet system people, using AR technology.
This Buyer’s Guide from Coastal Industries should definitely help sell products. It’s interactive. It’s classy. It’s wonderful to touch (oh, that paper!), and the Layar app works like a charm.
New shower doors, anyone?
(c) 2014 Margie Dana