Scan or click the photo (left) to see a video
by watermark pioneer Digimarc that promotes the technology to magazine publishers.
A new interactivity
Still, market leaders such as Digimarc,
which provides services for corporations,
including Costco, looking to watermark content and shoppers hoping to download or
share material through companion apps,
insist it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
“Businesses can digitally watermark
product advertisements … that connect cus-
tomers to online content, and even enable
shoppers to buy from their smartphone,” says
Ed Knudson, Digimarc’s executive vice presi-
dent of sales and marketing. “They can also
extend the experience to physical stores by
marking packaging and signage, including
providing nutritional information, special
savings or how-to videos customers can
access while shopping.”
Ironically for such a promising innova-
tion, the biggest challenge to the technology’s
widespread adoption, experts say, is simply
cultivating mass awareness and access to
material: Most people have yet to experience
the technology. Many major publications
have taken it upon themselves to provide
dedicated instructions for accessing and uti-
lizing supporting apps, and to include unique
visual call-outs that reveal where readers can
find digitally enhanced content.
As CNBC’s Morris points out, though,
while many have yet to go hands-on with
these advancements, the future of publishing
and marketing clearly lies in enhanced interactivity, with the upsides of digital watermarking readily apparent.
“The technology has the potential to be
the next big step in [media] and advertising
today,” he explains. “Whether or not it will
ultimately be successful depends on how well
advertisers can generate public interest. But if
firms that use digital watermarking can get
their apps onto enough phones, [this technol-ogy] has the potential to be very, very big.” C
Scott Steinberg ( www.akeynotespeaker.com)
is a professional speaker and management
Connecting print and digital
WATERMARKING SOLVES a problem
that The Connection has wrestled with:
how to directly connect our print readers
to our digital world.
Our online and newsstand editions
support reading and browsing the magazine on smartphones or tablets (see page
5). Watermarking allows print readers to
take advantage of the digital experience
without abandoning the printed page.
Watermarking extends Costco’s trea-sure-hunt philosophy to The Connection.
When reading an article or ad, readers
will find pointers to our added digital
content—product or service Web pages
and videos, movie trailers, music performances, opportunities to enter contests
or surveys and more.
To give this a try, download the free
Digimarc Discover app for your mobile
device from the i Tunes or Google Play
app stores. When you launch the app, the
camera in your device acts as a scanner.
Line up the crosshairs in the viewer with
the object on the page that you are
instructed to scan. You might hear a
sound when the scan is complete. The
target destination can then be viewed on