Making a Smart Newspaper
Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have created a prototype of the world’s first newspaper that plays audio. Called Interactive Newsprint, the prototype is set to improve over the next few months as they test it on readers.
The platform is capable of capacitive touch interactions, which means that by touching various parts of the page, readers can activate content ranging from audio reports, web polls or advertising – all contained within the paper itself.
But the developments in printed electronics do not stop there. Digital devices and microphones, buttons, sliders, colour changing fibres, LED text displays and mobile communication can all be used in an interactive newspaper. Existing forms of local journalism and content are being used as part of the project to develop a range of interactive paper documents.
They’re also working directly with the community, involving readers in the development of their prototypes. Paul Egglestone, the project lead at UCLan, had this to say:
Through these workshops we are looking at how communities would develop this technology rather than how boffins in a laboratory would develop it. That’s such a strong element of what we’re doing. Being able to place the paper in the middle of the internet opens up a whole new ball park in the ways we can both tell stories, but also how we can collect data. Who’s holding the paper, who’s touching it, how are they interacting is part and parcel of the kind of stuff this project will explore.