An AR creation tool that aims to facilitate the integration of print with other channels.

What does the system do?
GenARate is an augmented reality tool with two components: Studio for creating AR experiences/making a piece of print interactive and Publish to handle the integration of those experiences either within GenARate or an existing app.

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
The European launch was in October 2018 with the first local country launch in the UK following in December. The intended user base is broad, ultimately including any company from micro-businesses to mega brands across all sectors who want to integrate their print collateral with other channels. The marketing focus promoting GenARate is on service providers, including printers and creative agencies, although Konica Minolta will work with any brands that approach it directly.

How does it work?
At the heart is image recognition software hosted in the cloud. To augment a print job you upload the PDF of the artwork to the system and then the software analyses the image to identify unique features that it can then recognise from an image captured on the user’s mobile phone. At a push you can use any artwork, including a photo taken on a phone for the software to analyse. In the Studio module you select areas of the image that will be used as triggers and where those triggers will take the user.
Konica Minolta said the tool provides a more compelling way to have potential customers interact with content and boost conversion rates. Interactive experiences can also be used to provide more detailed or in-depth information.


Product type: Subscription based cloud hosted AR creation platform that uses a simple drag and drop interface to augment existing print without the need for coding skills

Price: Annual subscription from £3,000 up to £20,000

How does it differ from previous products?
“There’s no need for any coding skills, it’s all drag and drop, although you can do even more with a bit of coding,” says Konica Minolta international business development manager Ashley McConnell. “It’s AR for everyone,”

What is the USP of the product?
“The USP is the simplicity of drag and drop combined with the flexibility of being able to work via its app or integrated with the customer’s existing app,” says McConnell.

How easy is it to use?
In one word: Very. “In a recent pitch a prospect passed me their publication and said ‘can you AR this?’. I did there and then within three minutes,” he says.

What training and support is on offer?
“It’s so easy to use that we don’t see much need for training in how to use the software,” he says. “What is more important is supporting our customers with business development – how to propose, pitch, sell and support AR.”
He adds any issues operating it are likely to be simple user error to be expected with learning to use any product. As far as any problems with the software itself he adds that “if there’s a critical issue we’ll know before anyone else”.

How much does it cost?
It’s offered on a subscription model with annual pricing ranging between £3,000 and £20,000 depending on the number of pages augmented.
“Once we know more about usage we may offer a pay per use model,” he adds.

In what way is GenARate going to help the Middle East Customers?
The Middle East region is no different to any other region, using the Konica Minolta GenArate will benefit both the customer and print houses who are willing to invest in new technology and looking for new ways of communicating by adding value and content. AR offers new opportunities for print houses to add new revenue streams, without the necessity of becoming a digital agency, they are now able to offer additional services which are directly linked to their core business.     

What will be the future of GenARate in the Middle East?
AR has been around for a number of years, but it has not been used to drive business and has been more of a gimmick, however Konica Minolta has recognized that there is huge potential     for market growth here, due to the fact it will be increasingly common in mobile devices and wearables in the future. We have identified different hot spots for possible AR business solutions. Konica Minolta’s target is to be the preferred partner for AR business solutions in the market, such as advertising, education, retail, office, and commercial printing.


Search ‘AR creation tools’ online and a plethora of options emerge, so we have focused on tools for using printed matter as a jump-off point for further interaction digitally. There is an argument that some tools to integrate print aren’t strictly speaking AR, a pioneer in this was DocuMobi, which has since rebranded as Brandactif and doesn’t consider print a core market. Blippar, a big name in AR, is in hiatus.

HP Reveal
Formerly known as Aurasma, the renamed HP-owned tech now offered as a full AR tech as Reveal, and a more print-centric brand protection tool as Link. A basic version is available via a free account