New Tech Out Of Portugal Bridges Physical Coffee Table Books With Screens

December 17, 2019 by Dave Haynes

There has been lots of talk through the years about how digital signage could be effectively bridged with smartphones, but I’ve seen very little exploration about bridging screens with printed material.

A Portuguese start-up is marketing a smart catalogue that pairs a printed book with screens, changing on-screen material as a user flips pages in the book. Magik Book’s technology is touted as enabling brands to tell their story and engage customers in retail outlets, showrooms, and shopping malls.

With the technology, says the company, it improves customer interactions, using a physical book as the interface to digital content. The result is a hands-on, user-friendly alternative to the touch-screen digital signage commonly found, but often under-used, in retail settings.

Each print page of a Magik Book catalogue is synchronized to screen content. I’m not sure what triggers the screen switch (likely a set of teeny sensors), but it has a patent.

Each In-Store Smart Catalogue setup can work with multiple books, all of which can have a unique digital counterpart, so brands can offer a broad range of content. That also means that Magik Book clients can order new books as they please. The digital side can be refreshed at any time.

The triggers can also do things like turn on lights or change music or narratives playing from in-store audio.

“Magik Book started as a catalogue for iPads. But we saw an opportunity in retail space where we believe most digital signage interactions are stagnant and not user-friendly,” says CEO Hugo Ribeiro. “So we developed the Magik Book technology further, scaling it up for our clients’ stores and showrooms. Our goal is always to create the absolute best experiences for brands and their customers.”

It’s interesting. The use-case doesn’t come jumping to mind, but I think of retail venues that sell home furnishings and decor. There are undoubtedly others that use printed materials, because a tablet or touchscreen just doesn’t do what’s needed well.

Don’t see this as something that would have a lot of scale to it, but maybe this is a better (or at least different) way to look at everything from wall coverings to wedding dresses? Museums? Galleries?

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