Can connected newspapers revolutionise print?

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Could connecting a newspaper page to the internet transform the way that people perceive publishing?

It’s a question that the Liverpool Echo, Uniform and the University of Central Lancashire have been looking to answer with a prototype device.

It connects a newspaper supplement to the internet for additional multimedia information.

The trial was based around the end of Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career. The page uses conductive ink and when the hardware is attached to it, the user can press a printed button to trigger an internet connection to play commentary from one of Gerrard’s most memorable moments.

“Ultimately we are a traditional media company changing for a digital world. We want to bring innovation and experimentation to the heart of everything we do,” explained Paul Gallagher, digital innovations editor at Trinity Mirror Regional.

“Although we’re not envisaging distributing these products to every Echo reader inside their newspaper any time soon, we do want to see if there is any potential in this.

"It’s great to work with organisations like UCLan and partners like Uniform who are pioneering in this area.”

They believe this is just the start as the buttons could bring in dynamic content, new information, live goals or commentary.

“There’s an incredible opportunity to bring traditional print media to life using digital technology,” added Martin Skelly, creative technologist at Uniform.

“We’ve always believed there’s a future, and real tactile benefit of paper-based products, but we want to make these experiences more dynamic, tapping into online content and data.

“As newspapers, books and magazines look to reinvent themselves, we believe connected paper can play a major role in this over the next few years.”

The project was funded by the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan.

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