News Releases



DNP Develops LED-based Technology for AR Contents Display

Conducts Joint Tests with Joshibi University of Art and Design as art appreciation tool


Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a technology that takes the light from the light emitting diodes (LED) used in the augmented reality (AR) that synthesizes contents such as video images photographed with a camera, with computer graphics (CG), and recognizes this light as the contents display marker.

In conjunction with the Joshibi University of Art and Design located in Tokyo, and with a view to future commercial use, DNP displayed this newly developed technology as an art appreciation tool in demonstration tests at an exhibition of Seven Ancient Civilizations, Human Beings, the Earth and the Khufu Boat, hosted by the Fukuoka City Museum.


[Overview of AR Technology]

AR technology takes markers such as symbols and images including 2-D codes, and when these are photographed with computer or mobile based cameras, marker related contents such as CG and text recorded on servers are synthesized with video images in real-time and displayed. As the system is capable of recognizing the position and angle of the photographed markers and synthesizing these with video images, it is possible to perform interactive operations, including having the contents move in connection with the movements of the marker or camera.

For example, when photographing such real life objects as automobiles or domestic electrics by overlaying images on products, detailed product functions or explanations of internal product structure may be displayed in a comprehensive format, such as 3-D CG animation. As these contents are linked to video images, it is also possible to provide data that would otherwise not be fully explainable using real life objects alone, and as a result consumers can deepen their understanding of the products involved.

[LED Compatible AR Technology]

In order to display contents using AR technology a marker must be inserted into the images photographed with a camera. When marking product images, however, one challenge has been lower level classification accuracy as a marker, as a result of the photograph angle or the impact of light. Using symbols such as 2-D codes boosts this precision, but as it is necessary to attach a marker printed at a specific size over the product, there have been issues of a lack of harmony with the product design which have also worked to restrict the environment in which it could be used.

In answer to these challenges, DNP developed AR technology capable of recognizing the light from small scale LED as a marker. As it is possible to recognize small scale LED as a marker even at a distance, there is no impact on the product or spatial designs used in showrooms or at storefronts, which in turn allows for a broad expressional leeway. As it is also possible for the newly developed technology to recognize LED coordinates (position and angle) at the same time as recognizing LED light, in addition to being able to display the contents on a screen when the marker is at a distance from the camera, it is also possible to create more dynamic expressions than with currently available technology.

[Demonstration Tests]

DNP displayed an art appreciation tool that takes advantage of AR technology to mount 7 LED on a 1:100 scale model of the pyramids at Giza at an exhibition of Seven Ancient Civilizations, Human Beings, the Earth and the Khufu Boat, hosted by the Fukuoka City Museum from June 18 to September 4. By installing a free application related to the exhibition on an iPad2 or iPhone4, and viewing the pyramid through the camera lens, it was possible to view a CD animation image of the Khufu Ship floating past the pyramids.

[Future Undertakings]

DNP will forge ahead with the commercialization of this newly developed technology in spaces designed to boost the connection between consumers and companies, such as show rooms, stores, and museums, aiming for sales of 2.0 billion yen by the year ending March 31, 2017.


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