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Touchcode: A New Way to Make Print Interactive

German firm Printechnologics has developed another way for print to be interactive utilizing the increasing number of touch screens—tablets, smartphones and more—now in the marketplace. What is a Touchcode, how can it be used and when might we start seeing them in the market? Cary Sherburne speaks with Printechnologics CEO Sascha Voight.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: November 18, 2011


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Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By Kevin Keane on Nov 18, 2011

Hi Cary

Thank you for yet another splendidly informative and thought provoking article.

As you know, I share your enthusiasm for making print interactive, and in fact, have the JC Penney interactive Christmas ad as my profile status on Linked In at the moment. I speculated when I posted it to my Facebook page that the interactive voice recognition technology that is enabled by a printed QR code label or sticker on a JC Penney holiday gift may be the IVR technology from Hipcricket in Seattle.

Here is the ad which went up on You Tube on 8 November -- I think it is inspired!


Two things - one, I think it notable that the very first question asked in the FAQ's list on the Touchcodes site is - "Is the Touchcode recyclable?" Most printers still tell me their customers aren't yet asking much about the green mindset and practice of the printer. That is going to change.

Secondly, when you wrote your wonderful Premium Content 1 November article titled "Is there an iPad App in your future?" I commented on two different days and in the second comment on 2 November mused on the 'revenue share' model being used by Documobi, Taopix and Keen Systems.

And here we see another example of the legacy of Steve Jobs - printers who want the advantage of the coolest technology will need to share revenue with the technology partner, just as the print for pay shop has been doing with Xerox, Kodak et al via click charges these many years.

The holiday season seems to have been the impetus, not surprisingly, for a raft of new interactive ads all of which presently require print as the launch pad for a more fully immersive multi-media experience.

Blippar in the UK in particular has given my very cool ads to post on my Facebook networks almost daily.

Keep up the great work Cary, these are very exciting times. And have a great holiday season young lady!


By Kevin Keane on Nov 18, 2011

Hi again Cary -

back on 22 September, the PrintPower site in Belgium posted a blurb datelined out of Finland.

It seems to me that to some extent the 3rd model for the future of the print industry as forecast by the technology savants in Finland fits the offering from Print Technologics with its Touchcodes innovation:





By Cary Sherburne on Nov 18, 2011

Kevin, thanks as always for your kind comments, and for taking the time to add value to my article! It is kind of interesting that the Touchcode technology cannot be produced on a digital press at this time; gives offset guys something unique and interesting they can offer in terms of interactive print that could extend the life and value of offset printing!


By Margie Dana on Nov 19, 2011

What an interesting technology - and terrific article - Cary. Thanks for presenting such a comprehensive look at this cool technology. It's going to be on my radar from now on, for sure. A most interesting challenge, will definitely be how to educate users to a code that's invisible. I hope you follow this story in the months ahead and let the rest of us know when Touchcodes are out and about in the US marketplace.

Also, I think another cool app could be contests. Maybe we'd call them MysteryCodes!

Again, great piece, Cary!


By Cary Sherburne on Nov 19, 2011

Margie, thanks for taking the time to comment. I will surely stay in touch with Touchcodes to see how they evolve over the next several months. The 3M partnership is a good start, but they will need to figure out the crazy channel system in North America to gain traction here. Hopefully some big players will see the value and jump in. It certainly seems to me to be pretty risk-free!


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