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Manufacturing Indaba 2018 launches print magazine with AR has extended its online magazine with a print version that uses augmented reality (AR) technology making the magazine more interactive, allowing readers to access extra digital content through their smartphones.
The online publication came into the print space in March 2014, with the objective of staying grounded to the daily digital trends and applications to create a unique youthful entertainment publication in South Africa.

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Print isn't vanishing

The independently owned publication and relatively new player in the print publishing industry believes that print publishing is not necessarily vanishing, as there are still opportunities in that space which haven't been fully tapped and exploited.

"When TV was launched, debates emerged about radio vanishing and that is what we are seeing with digital and print. We believe that print is not necessarily vanishing; however, it now needs to share the space with digital and social media platforms just as radio shares space with TV. Therefore what we aim to achieve with AR is to integrate the two," says Bonga Mpungose, marketing manager.

Augmented reality (AR) is a cutting-edge technology that allows a digitally enhanced view of the real world, connecting readers with more meaningful and visual content out of the printed one. With the camera and sensors in a smartphone or tablet, AR adds layers of digital information such as videos, photos, sounds, etc - directly on top of items in the world around us.

Digital content

The magazine readers are prompted by systematic instructions in the publication, demonstrating how to use AR through the Layar application to gain access to the digital content, which has been hidden on every page of the magazine. This is designed to not only enhance the readers experience, but also to add more value for advertisers who are able to measure the effectiveness of their advertising, based on the number of scans it receives.

The 'Layar Application' can be downloaded free by all iOS and Android smartphones users. Once downloaded, readers can scan the pages with the Layar logo.

"Print publications still have many years of survival in South Africa and publishers just need to be innovative to ensure that it remains a profitable business. The macro and micro environments are constantly changing, therefore if you cannot adapt you fall behind. Our publication targets a youthful market who are always intrigued and looking out for new exciting technology trends and that is what the print publication is here to offer them," say editor, Andile Mathobela.

The magazine is available at Shoprite, Checkers and CNA stores nationwide as a bi-monthly and retails at R19.90.