Making your printed pictures come alive with Aurasma’s Augmented Reality

By: Chris Thomas

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23 May 2012

Our very own potter Sally Reilly is the first in Cambridge Open Studios 2012 to have her guide image come alive, as demonstrated in the video above!

You too can have your own animated material for this year’s Cambridge Open Studios.

Imagine someone receiving a postcard bought at your studio this year, picking up a smartphone and then seeing more of your work displayed on the card, perhaps even seeing a video of you talking about your work.

Your printed material brought to life like the posters in a futuristic movie. With a smart-phone, it is now possible to animate your printed photograph on your banner, flyer, postcard or even your original painting with a slideshow or a video.

The technology is by Aurasma, a Cambridge based company. The animations are called “Auras”.

I am offering this as an added benefit to Cambridge Open Studio members this year.

The technology is deceptively simple in principle, requiring five things:

  1. A trigger image or photograph that will be present in print form
  2. An overlay. This is a video is designed fit over part or all of the trigger image
  3. A smart phone. Currently i-phones and Android based phones can be used.
  4. The free Aurasma Lite app, available from, iPhone and Play Store
  5. Free subscription through the app to the “Cambridge Open Studios 2012” channel that I have created.

This technology is still so new that I recommend you can use it as follows:

  1. Demonstrate your “Aura” with a smartphone to visitors. It will act as a conversation trigger and impress with your being at the cutting edge of our society
  2. Have a product (print, postcard, placemat etc.) with an “Aura” image for those excited by the technology to buy.

You can actually generate your own aura if you have a suitable smartphone. You then share this by sending individual e-mails to contacts or clients. If that is good enough for you, great! Have fun playing J

Alternatively, if you would like to have this done professionally and to have your Aura accessible to anyone subscribed to the Cambridge Open Studios channel – I can do this for you.

You need to:

  • Provide me with the image to use as the trigger
  • Provide me with a selection of images and some text to turn into a slideshow OR with a video, no longer than 2 minutes that you have made

This service is available at cost price for my time £30. I can do more complicated work on request.

Once set up, you can use the trigger image anywhere you want, on any of your printed material.

If you would like to have your very own Aura based on your work, contact me, Chris Thomas at or on 01223 440024.

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