Colouring Market Goes 3D
Augmented Reality Brings Colouring Books To Life
With over 55 titles currently on the shelves and worth an estimated 10 million in value sales, adult colouring has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in publishing in recent years.
It’s a trend that shows no sign of abating and is now set to enter a whole new level as Disney launches an app that uses augmented reality to enhance its colouring books.
Available for IOS and Android, Disney Color and Play brings characters to life in 3D as they are drawn on the page. It works by letting children see their artwork using a mobile device that show them a 3D character in real time, textured according to the child’s colouring.
According to Disney, the app isn’t meant to replace the low-tech practice of putting pen to paper; rather “enhance engagement” by offering a “magical digital overlay” and capture imagination in an age where “real-world activities can seem unexciting.”
Although the app is aimed at kids, it obviously creates new scope for the adult colouring market – as well as the opportunity to breathe new life into the children’s version.
In early testing, researchers found that most (adult) users said the app increased their motivation to draw in colouring books and 80 per cent said the app increased their feeling of connection to a character.
This isn’t the first time that companies have used augmented reality to enhance traditional colouring books. There’s Quiver, Crayola Colour Alive and Paint my Cat. However these apps have never enabled you see the character in 3D in real time as you’re colouring, only the finished picture.
There’s no doubt, however, that this growing technology offers greater opportunities for publishers as they look for new ways to attract audiences and generate revenue. Publishers should now look to developing similar technology in order to deliver magazine specials with an increased cover price, and undertake research to fully understand how the potential of augmented reality can be fully utilised to capitalise on a growing trend.