Last updateMon, 01 Feb 2021 12pm

Konica Minolta UK has been awarded the "Tech for Good Award" at the coveted 2020 Better Society Awards.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Limited (Konica Minolta) has been awarded the 'Tech for Good Award' at the coveted 2020 Better Society Awards. The award recognises its work with The Big Issue magazine, which was the first street newspaper to implement augmented reality (AR) using the Konica Minolta genARate app. This created new access to content, raised awareness of poverty, homelessness and social exclusion in the UK, and supported sales.

Konica Minolta was announced as the winner at a virtual awards ceremony on 02 December, recognising commercial enterprises that are helping to create a better, equal, ethical and sustainable world for all. Rob Ferris, Chief Executive Officer at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd, says: "We are proud to have been recognised by the Better Society Awards 2020 for our work in support of The Big Issue. Konica Minolta is a company that not only cares about its employees, customers, partners and wider society, but also about using technology to make a difference."
The project originally came about through an inspiring conversation between a salesperson from The Big Issue magazine and a member of the Konica Minolta team. It prompted the team to think about how it could help the organisation and its vendors overcome some of the challenges it faced as a traditional print publisher.
With more publications being distributed freely on the high street, consumers preferring to consume content through digital channels, and potential customers walking past vendors on their mobile phones, The Big Issue and its vendors were feeling the pressure.
Oliver Waddington-Ball, Head of Custom Content and Partnerships at The Big Issue, comments, "Selling the magazine has given our sales people structure, a sense of purpose and dignity. It was really important for us to find a way to engage and empower a wider audience through digital channels without compromising our physical vendor model."
With the support of Konica Minolta, The Big Issue was the first street newspaper to introduce augmented reality. The genARate AR app allows publishers to overlay videos, animations or 3D models on top of printed materials to create rich media communications that offer an exciting appeal to audiences.
Rob Ferris adds, "People don't tend to associate AR with a social enterprise like The Big Issue. We've used AR in several issues to change that perception and show how technology can really make a difference, in all parts of our society. Konica Minolta also supported the magazine with strategic advice on how to approach digital transformation for the future. Undoubtedly, the opportunity to merge print and digital and give readers a greater opportunity to share content has also brought additional commercial benefits to the organisation by increasing the reach, impact and influence of The Big Issue."



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