Department store group Debenhams has claimed a retail world-first after deploying innovative smartphone technology to bring print ads to life.

Using Aurasma - described as “the world’s first visual internet browser” - consumers can play Debenhams’ TV ad on their phones and link to its website simply by pointing their devices at a print advertisement in a magazine or on a billboard.

Debenhams marketing director Richard Cristofoli said: “We are seeing the future in action today. No longer will traditional advertisements be static and limited in scope.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see these ads burst into life and offer customers the opportunity to shop immediately, in the moment, wherever they are.”

Debenhams is using Aurasma as part of its Autumn marketing campaign featuring designers including Julien Macdonald and Henry Holland and using the strap like ‘Life made fabulous with Designers at Debenhams’.

An Aurasma app can be downloaded from stores such as Android market Place and more than 1m consumers have already done so.

The technology has been used by businesses including Panasonic, the Financial Times and the BBC.