DNP Develops AR Technology-Driven Translation Display System

For use with packaging instructions at retail outlets

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed an Augmented Reality (AR) technology-driven system for displaying product instruction translations on tablet terminal screens. The new system works by having the store visitor wave target product over the tablet terminal, to produce a foreign language translation of the product name and/or product instructions. The Company will market this product as an inbound response service to food makers and the makers of daily necessities, and will commence operations in September, 2015.

[Developmental Background]

The number of overseas visitors is sharply rising. JTB1 forecasts 15 million visitors in 2015, while the Japanese government is targeting 20 million visitors in 2020. At the same time, as a result of the decision to apply duty-free provisions to foods and cosmetics purchases by overseas visitors from October 2014, consumption values by overseas visitors exceeded 700 billion yen in the first quarter of 2015. Further increases are expected as the duty-free provision is forecast to be expanded to 20,000 outlets in 20202. Stores selling consumables, however, are struggling in their response to overseas visitors, who cannot read about the product features, product safety or the difference with other products, given that few products carry foreign language text or explanations.

DNP has positioned Knowledge and Communications, Food and Healthcare, the Environment and Energy, and Lifestyle and Mobility as growth areas, and is promoting products, and services that will become Tomorrow's Basics. The provision of services targeting inbound trade are being conducted as part of those efforts. DNP already provides a variety of such services, including digital signage navigation systems used in facility guidance, the distribution of customer support apps for tablet terminals, and tablet terminal-based guidance via live interpreters.

In this latest development, DNP has employed AR technology to develop a system whereby users wave the products they are interested in, over tablet terminals installed at retail outlets, and product package images, with accompanying text in Chinese, English and French translations are displayed on the screen of the terminal.

[System Summary and Features]

Product package data for display on tablet terminal screens is pre-registered. The newly developed system is structured so that when the visitor waves product packages including product explanations over in-store based tablet terminals, the system recognizes the package format. A reproduction of the package format is then displayed on the tablet screen, with the translation of the product explanation, appearing to overlay the original Japanese explanation.

The features of the new system are as follows.

  • By employing AR technology, the visitor can experience the sensation of holding a package printed with a foreign language explanations in their hands.
  • And as the package data has already been translated, it is possible to ensure the display of accurate translation data on the screen of the tablet terminal.
  • In-store based terminals are used, and as a result, anyone can enjoy the benefits of the service, including non-smartphone users.
  • Apart from displaying translations of product package explanations, it is also possible to boost the product appeal in each language by also displaying translations of product advertising slogans.
  • Time, location, viewed products and displayed languages are recorded in the terminals, and can be used in future marketing activities.

[Looking Ahead]

DNP will market the newly developed system to makers of foods, daily necessities and cosmetics, aiming for sales of 1.0 billion by FY 2018.

1: Source; Survey Results Regarding 2015 Travel Market Forecasts
2: Source; Ministerial Council on the Promotion of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.