I saw my paper vendor today, and he asked me if I had seen “augmented reality”.
I thought he was making psychedelic jokes at the longhair’s expense.

But then we start talking about Google Glass and the way mobile devices have transformed  the way people interact with their environment.

Directions, restaurant reviews, traffic, everything’s in your phone.

It’s a little unusual for your paper supplier to extol the transformative powers of the web, mobile and electronic communication.

So he whips out what looks like an ordinary paper book, opens to a photo of a guy with a guitar, and then points his smart phone at it.

Snap a photo of a seemingly ordinary full color photo, and up pops a video of the guy playing the guitar on his phone.

Printers were stoking the fire behind QR codes as the way of the future, but, let’s be honest, they just aren’t that sexy.  There has always been something overly engineered about them.  It’s a bar code with a marketing push.

But this is like a photo that turns into something else if you know the secret.

This is a little bit of magic.  It makes print come to life on your phone with links and tweets and likes and vids… and it’s affordable for anybody.  Layar has a stated goal to support non-profits for free, too.

OK, Rob, now I’m trippin’.  Check it out.

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