Last year, a UK paper released the first ‘proto-type” newspaper to feature what is being dubbed, ‘smart-paper”. This feature is in very simple terms; links embedded within the newspaper to more details on news articles. Created by Interactive Newsprint, the company is “connecting paper to the Internet by using conductive links and a small computer chip mounted to the paper.”
Developed by Novalia, the ‘chips’ can take news readers to audio clips, read the paper in a different language, or send readers to a Youtube video of the story.
The creators hope this will solve the conundrum of paper versus eReader, allowing the reader to have the best of both worlds. Another feature that appeals to advertisers is the analytics that the digital feature will create. It will allow the paper to see which stories were clicked on the most, which were by-passed, and how long a reader lingered on the article. These analytics will allow the publisher to determine what is or is not appealing to the readership.
Some details are stilling being worked out such as productions costs, chip size, battery life and determining how to produce this interactive paper cost effectively.
Paul Egglestone, digital coordinator at the School of Journalism at UCLan and project lead said: “My big vision is for communities to build a new business around this printed model and sell in new ways and arrange editorial in new ways,” he said. “The framework first is to develop the technology and find applications for the product. — There is no way to not interact with print. It’s about the user experience.”
Here’s more about this project from Paul Egglestone: