Skip to main content

Augmented reality provides businesses new marketing option

Paperjax Productions helps businesses create QR codes coupled with augmented reality technology

share arrow printer bookmark flag

February 9, 2023

GREEN BAY – As technology continues to advance, the needs and wants of consumers change with it.

In an effort to remain relevant, companies often evolve their strategies to keep pace with those changing needs.

Today, QR codes are used for a variety of things – from accessing restaurant menus and tracking products to item identification and marketing campaigns.

More recently, QR codes are being coupled with augmented reality (AR) technology.

Jon Bootz – a Green Bay resident with more than 30 years of experience in the paper industry – said he did just that.

Together with his wife Jane, Bootz founded Paperjax Productions – an AR agency.

Bootz said he was first introduced to AR more than a decade ago.

“It started from me reading a magazine that was in the Fox Cities,” he said. “Once you downloaded this program from your smartphone, it made the (magazine) cover come to life.”

Though admitting he isn’t much of a “techy person,” Bootz said the idea stuck with him.

“I could see this 100% working out extremely well for clients,” he said.

But first, Bootz said, came years of research and careful planning to find the right software to license.

“We created Paperjax on the belief that adding technology to paper makes an engaging customer experience,” he said.

‘Holotwins’ tell the story
Paperjax uses what Bootz calls “AR codes,” which can be printed onto a paper product – including brochures, rack cards or business cards.

He said once a smartphone accesses the code, the AR experience begins and the individual is welcomed into an augmented reality platform using a real-world setting.

For example, Bootz said, users can personally meet the business owner as a “holotwin.”

A holotwin is a holographic version of a person that can be placed into a viewer’s real-world environment using a QR code and a smartphone.

Once anchored to any flat surface, Bootz said the viewer can make the holotwin whatever size they desire in their own environment.

He said Paperjax’s AR codes can also take a person on a 360-degree tour of a business and then allow access to the business’ website, as well as offer the opportunity to make a buying decision or to contact the business.

Bootz said some customers he has worked with thus far include hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, an apparel store, a wedding planner, RV sales, a suntanning shop and a university.

He said the options and opportunities AR marketing can provide businesses is “as much creative thought as you can put into it.”
Multi-step process
Bootz said he’s excited to be at the forefront of AR marketing locally.

“You’re going to see a lot going forward that’s going to be introduced,” he said.

The overall process, Bootz said, is a team effort – with him and his wife – who he calls the “backbone” of the business – managing the projects together.

Bootz said he does 360-degree photography for clients who want to provide potential customers with an experience of what their business is like through an AR code.

For those businesses who want a holotwin created, Bootz said he enlists the help of photographer and videographer Brad Thalmann (with Harle Photography in Green Bay) for content creation.

Once the script is completed – which Jane writes – Bootz said clients go to Thalmann’s production studio, and the client is filmed against a green screen to create the “holotwin” that appears to customers.

Thalmann said it takes at most an hour to get the “short and sweet” 30-45 seconds of videography people see through the AR code – which needs to be done in one take.

He said he uses a teleprompter to help clients remember the script during production.

Sande Solomon, owner of Julie’s Park Cafe & Motel in Fish Creek, is featured as a “holotwin” created by Paperjax Productions. Submitted Image

Thalmann said he records the video and audio separately, then blends them together for the best quality.
‘It’s only going to get stronger’
 Bootz said he sees AR as the future of marketing.

“It’s only going to get stronger,” he said. “What would seem to be far away is actually quite close.”

When he was researching AR marketing, Bootz said his main goal was finding a way to connect today’s customers with businesses.

He said AR marketing allows a business to “come to life” for potential customers.

“I looked at all these people walking around using their smartphones… (and thought) ‘How do I get them to watch this experience and then be enticed to go further?’” he said.

Bootz said the opportunities AR marketing provides are endless.

Last year, he said he introduced a line of holiday cards.

“As soon as you walked in (through the ‘doorway’), the holiday music would start,” he said.

Bootz said Paperjax has also started to expand its AR marketing to social media.

Why Paperjax?
The paper part Bootz said seems obvious – with his years of experience in the paper industry – but “jax?”

He said he was a fan of playing with jacks as a kid – often receiving them as gifts from his mother.

The company name is, Bootz said, in part, to honor her.

“I (also) wanted (the company name and logo) to be something that had motion to it,” he said. “It felt right.”

Between the memories of his mother, his career in the print industry and this new beginning, Bootz said the name Paperjax just “brought it (all) full circle.”

Excited about the print industry
Bootz said he continues to work for Brown County Graphics, while also managing Paperjax.

He said the two roles mend well together – with much of Paperjax’s work utilizing the Brown County Graphics’ printing presses.

Bootz said Paperjax also contracts the services of Brown County Graphics’ designers for his AR projects.

“I’ve never been more excited about print than I am now,” he said. “(AR) tends to be a fun topic. You’re engaging the consumer in a different way than you have before.”

Bootz said one of Paperjax’s clients is Quietwoods RV Sales and Service in Sturgeon Bay – utilizing AR technology to market its service department.

Quietwoods’ AR code on its print materials takes interested parties to its branded landing page.

“Their big two-story door opens up, (takes you to the action in the service department),” he said.

Bootz said Quietwoods is now expanding its use of AR with Paperjax to allow potential buyers to browse products even when Quietwoods is closed.

“In spring, we are going to get a full test of it,” he said. “I’ll be watching the analytics. I have an analytics page that shows the activity that goes on.”

Julie’s Park Cafe & Motel in Fish Creek is another customer.

Bootz said when patrons scan the AR code on a brochure it pops up a “holotwin” of co-owner Sande Solomon who personally welcomes customers to the property.

From there, he said customers can book a room, see the menu or contact the business.

Bootz said that direct connectivity to the consumer is the “over-the-top opportunity.”

He said another client – Malcore Funeral Home in Green Bay – uses Paperjax AR marketing on its company brochures and sale sheets.

Thalmann said Paperjax creates a fun experience for businesses.

“(Bootz has) been a print guy for so many years, and he’s one of the only people who is successfully deploying the technology for doing this,” he said. “He’s making print a little more relevant where you have all this technology and you can have a unique marketing tool.”

share arrow printer bookmark flag

Trending View All Trending