Ricoh Europe PLC has announced that its Clickable Paper™ technology is to become commercially available in Western Europe, rolled out on a country-by-country basis.
Clickable Paper is a powerful, interactive print solution that bridges the online and offline worlds. It has the ability to provide immediate one-touch access to up to six different online resources such as video/multimedia, web sites, e-commerce portals and social networks.
Clickable Paper makes paper-based communications interactive and delivers far-reaching value to readers by providing easy access to digital rich media via a smartphone or tablet. Its functionality can be critical when it comes to developing an effective interactive print campaign that drives readers to seek additional information and provides tracking of these activities to publishers and advertisers.
"There are a number of capabilities of this technology that makes it hugely attractive for businesses looking for ways to add greater value to print and to place themselves at the forefront of mobile communications," comments Benoit Chatelard, General Manager, Solutions, Ricoh Europe. "With Clickable Paper, publishers and advertisers can create highly interactive, multi-media campaigns that yield rapid results. It also protects core print-based businesses while reinventing them at the same time with a unique marketing service that delivers rapid ROI. Results are trackable for greater reportability, increasing the value of this interactive application for publishers and advertisers alike."
Using Clickable Paper
Clickable Paper is based on Ricoh Visual Search, an image recognition technology developed by Ricoh Innovations, Inc. It is more secure than QR codes and permits the repurposing of already printed materials without marking, editing or reformatting the source documents. Although the Clickable Paper logo can be printed on the page to inform the reader that the images are hot spots for more interaction, the technology doesn't require visible marks of any kind on printed materials, so there is no need to design around a barcode that can detract from a document's appearance.
The commercialisation of Clickable Paper follows a number of successful pilots in the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom where the technology has been deployed by businesses in commercial print, publishing and luxury goods manufacturing across a range of applications that include books, newspapers and magazines.
One of the pilots was UK commercial printer Barnwell Print. The company was keen to modernise the user's experience with the printed page and increase the value of print to enhance its breadth of services and support its clients to grow their own businesses.
Clickable Paper was incorporated into a 4,000 run of a 274-page book enabling readers to watch a video about fishing. Barnwell Print also used the technology successfully in an advert for Norwich Theatre Royal in a monthly town magazine with a circulation of 40,000 to encourage readers to order theatre tickets online.
"When we saw Clickable Paper, we immediately recognised its enormous potential," explains Julian Barnwell, Managing Director and Co-owner of Barnwell Print. "Clickable Paper enables publications to be used as a portal to direct readers to all kinds of extra information or entertainment. It brings printed publications into the world of interactive, multi-channel communications and offers the real-time tracking of reader response that has heretofore been difficult to achieve with a printed publication.''
Dutch business magazine De Zaak chose Clickable Paper to reinforce subscriptions and advertising levels by offering a value-added service to subscribers. The monthly publication, with 155,000 readers and a 17,000 subscriber base, chose to enrich its articles with links to its website and other information sources. Chief editor Armand Landman, said, "With Clickable Paper, we added something special to our printed magazine. We can now easily bridge to our online platform where our readers will find a wealth of additional information and services. This allows our readers to have fast, easy access to a broader range of material via their smartphones, with the printed magazine as the base." He has called it, "the next page in journalism".
Today's announcement comes as Ricoh celebrates winning the France Xplor Grand Jury Award for innovation in Paris yesterday evening for Clickable Paper technology. The jury selected Clickable Paper based on how Ricoh and the luxury watch manufacturer, Bell and Ross, created a customised app to add impact to the launch of a new, ceramic watch at the prestigious Baselworld watch and jewellery show in Basel, Switzerland in March.
Chatelard says, "Clickable Paper is a high value, affordable service, grounded in familiar marketing territory such as campaigns, cloud services and print. It is innovative, yet practical and easy to use. It multiplies the communications capability of publishers and advertisers, making the printed page or poster a versatile channel into the online world, enriching readers' experience. We expect that publishers, advertisers and agencies, progressive print and marketing services providers will embrace Clickable Paper as it becomes available in their respective countries."