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Cal Poly Helps Reinvent Print by Making it Interactive

February 27, 2009
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA—02/27/09—Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department is partnering with Goss International to revolutionize the printing industry by making it interactive.
 
In an ongoing commitment to enhancing the value of printed material to consumers and advertisers, the department works with key corporations to develop strategies to revitalize print in unique ways, said Harvey Levenson, head of the Graphic Communication Department.
 
Cal Poly’s latest such venture with Goss International uses GossRSVP, a sophisticated computer program that makes print interactive by allowing users to scan an ad or input a code into a handheld device such as cell phone. “The cell phone then provides more information about the item advertised and displays electronic coupons for free or discounted redemptions,” Levenson said. “All the consumer needs to do is go to the store offering the item, display the coupon on the cell phone, and redeem the free or discounted product or service.”
 
“We are glad to be partnering with Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department in our mission of making print interactive,” says Roger Belanger, director of GossRSVP. “Cal Poly will be an excellent neutral party to use our system, perform tests and case studies, and be a sounding board of the technology for the print industry.”  
 
The implications of this technology are tremendous for newspaper and magazine advertisers, as well as for such commercial printing as brochures, flyers, and direct-mail advertising, Levenson said. “Cal Poly is demonstrating the benefits of GossRSVP as an important step to ‘reinvent’ the value of print as a medium that expands reach and utility when combined with interactive technology such as handheld devices.”
 
Cal Poly’s student-run experiential laboratory, University Graphic Systems (UGS), has already conducted a successful experiment. “We used GossRSVP during an ‘all UGS meeting’ to give away a Graphic Communication Department T-shirt,” said Ryan Casey, student general manager of UGS. The UGS students “texted-in” a code, and a message was returned notifying them they had entered the contest. The message also had a link to a mobile browser-optimized Web page with information about the T-shirts and included a catalog photo. “At the end of the meeting, we had the software send a notification to the winner,” Casey said.
 

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