Augmented Reality Graphics Installation Honors Community College Grads

In the spring of 2020, schools and colleges printed yard signs, pole banners, and other wide-format graphics to publicly honor home-bound graduating seniors. This spring, the tradition of finding creative ways to recognize graduating student continues, even as some socially distanced graduation ceremonies were streamed online or held live in front of limited numbers of attendees.

In honor of Lorain County Community College’s graduating class of 2021, LCCC created the “Doors of Opportunity” interactive graphics installation to celebrate each student’s resilient journey to become a college graduate.

Twenty-one full sized doors lined a grassy median stretching nearly 450 feet in the college’s parking area. Each door graphic linked to an augmented reality video that shared the personal story of a graduate from each of the college’s academic programs. These 21 custom videos featured 25 members of the class of 2021 who appear to enter their door in unique ways when viewers scan a QR code on every door.

The large-format AR installation “The Doors of Opportunity” featured 21 doors with QR codes that linked to
videos about graduates from different areas of specialization. (Photos: Lorain County Community College)

The Doors of Opportunity display was open to the public for eight days following the May 15 graduation ceremony. Visitors were encouraged to bring their smartphones to interact with the doors, take photos, and share on social media.

“The Doors of Opportunity honor the courage the class of 2021 demonstrated to achieve their academic goals,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “Many of our students faced incredible challenges throughout their journey and yet they persevered to become college graduates – perhaps during the most challenging years of their lives.”

Lorain Community College Graduate Akua Agyemang poses in front of the “Door of Opportunity” that tells the story of how earning her Associate Degree in Science will lead her to her next opportunities.

The 21 doors also represent the depth of academic opportunities LCCC provides its students by offering more than 100 programs, including a University Partnership providing bachelor’s and master’s degrees, high-school dual enrollment options, and short-term training certificates.

A door that featured the word “achieve” showed the story of Akua Agyemang, Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and member of the All-Ohio First Academic Team. Agyemang earned an Associate of Science degree with a 4.0 grade point average and plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry before attending medical school to become an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Ballinger says that while the single row of doors symbolizes the commonality among a united graduating class, each door brings to life the unique path a student takes to reach graduation day.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to education no longer works in today’s world,” Ballinger says. “So LCCC meets our students where they are in life to help them reach their academic goals. And today, our graduates are walking through that door, toward the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lorain Community College is located in Elyria, Ohio. For more information, visit: 21 Doors of Opportunity | Lorain County Community College (lorainccc.edu)

VirtualSign Augmented Reality App Helps Sign Buyers Visualize Sign Designs On Site

SAi’s VirtualSign is an augmented reality app that creates a virtual representation of how sign designs will look when installed in real world locations.

Virutal Sign augmented reality app for SAi Flexi software subscribers

Available at no extra cost to SAi Flexi subscribers, the app enables sign and display users to project a customer’s banner or sign onto the side of a building or other space for which it is intended. This makes it easier for customers to visualize a sign design that has been created in SAi Flexi software.

SAi created the app to enable sign and display businesses to secure the go-ahead for projects faster. It has the potential to increase production throughput by improving customer interaction and enhancing the buying process.

SAi VirtualSign can help sign buyers visualized what the designed sign will look like on a wall.

Not only does VirtualSign allow users to visualize signs in real life, but they can also capture and send images directly from the app, making it easier than ever to share creative ideas.

VirtualSign is available to download on iTunes and Google Play

SAi Flexi is all-in-one sign design, print, and cut software for sign and print providers. Subscriptions to the cloud-based software include a range of features for preparing and sending design files to wide-format printers, vinyl cutters, and print-and-cut devices. SAi software is also available in traditionally licensed versions.

Interactive Print Technologies Link Printed Pages to Online Content

International Print Day is an ideal time to discuss three interactive print projects that demonstrate how printed pages can be linked to rich, online media.

At the Print 17 show in September, I picked up two books and a magazine that use three different link technologies and apps to showing how printed pages can be connected to video, motion graphics, discussion forums, PDF updates, and additional resources.

Business Book: The Third Wave

The Third Wave by Joseph Webb and Richard Romano Book CoverThe book “The Third Wave” by Joseph W. Webb and Richard M. Romano uses HP Link technology. Readers who download the HP LinkReader can scan hyperlinked text and images to get more information, watch a video, or listen to a song.

In addition to engaging book readers, HP Link Technology can be used on packages and other printed products for authentication or tracking shipments and inventory.

In the book, which was written for owners of printing businesses, the authors discuss how smarter mobile phones, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things will affect printing businesses.

The pages of the book were  printed on an HP PageWide WebPress T240HD and the cover was output on an HP Indigo digital press. The book was published by King Printing Co., a Lowell, Massachusetts-based company that provides short-run book-printing services for more than 10,000 authors and publishers.

Textbook: Introduction to Graphic Communication

Introduction to Graphic Communication” by Harvey Levenson and John Parsons is a prototype edition of an updated textbook that is being developed for students of graphic communications. It uses Ricoh’s Clickable Paper technology with the CP Clicker app to demonstrate how print and digital content can work together. Readers can access video demonstrations, animations, photo galleries, audio content, live chat, and other multimedia content.

Ricoh’s Clickable Paper technology doesn’t require printing unsightly QR codes or other marks on the page. Instead, the Clicker app detects hotspots on the page that can connect to several links. In addition to enlivening books and educational materials, Clickable Paper can be used in marketing materials. It can connect readers to additional product information, product reviews, or e-commerce portals.

Magazine: Out of Chaos 

“Out of Chaos”Out of Chaos magazine cover is a digitally printed version of the online magazine published by the color-management experts at Rods and Cones. The Spring 2017 issue of the magazine was printed, bound, and trimmed on the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP digital press. The printed articles are enhanced with Stampatech “Print Infinity” technology.

Stampatech augmented-reality technology recognizes photographs and logos on printed books, labels, marketing literature, or packaging and triggers interactive content. Users of the app can learn more about the product, give feedback, or even make purchases.

An article in “Out of Chaos” magazine features excerpts from the white paper “Has Augmented Reality Really Gone Mainstream?” by Cindy Walas and Kevin Keane.

Print Re-Imagined

As it becomes easier for readers to use smartphone apps to access digital content from printed pages, designers, authors, and other content creators will have to think differently about they plan their books, magazines, packages, and marketing materials.

Authors of non-fiction books will no longer have to worry so much that content in the book will become quickly outdated. And they can link to video demonstrations of complex processes that can be difficult to explain in a few paragraphs. Fiction writers could use rich media to help readers visualize key characters or settings or interact with the author.

The new linking technologies combine the interactivity of e-books with the simple pleasure of “off-screen” reading. It’s up to the reader to decide whether they want to access information solely through the printed page or if they want to use the printed pages as gateways to informative videos or more current, in-depth content.