A university-led research project to create the world’s first internet enabled newspaper could be a ‘lifeline to the print element of the news industry’ according to one of its founders.
Interactive Newsprint is being led by the School of Journalism, Media & Communication at the University of Central Lancashire, and will see sheets of paper turned into interactive displays.
Paul Egglestone, digital coordinator at the department, said: “We are developing an entirely new platform for community news and information by connecting paper to the internet to create what is believed to be the world’s first internet-enabled newspaper.
“The aim of the new technology is to bridge the digital gap, giving people access to the internet through a new platform, and also to encourage new forms of community news, communication and social engagement.”
The project uses ‘smart’ paper that responds to human touch so that images or text printed on it can change when a certain part of the surface is pressed.
As well as this experiments with audio could include the ability to listen to the newspaper being read in local Lancashire accents.
A hyperlocal interactive newspaper and poster called Preston News has already been created over the last few months and will be put to the test when it is given to people in Preston for three months.
In a video on the Interactive Newsprint website Paul states that the development could be a ‘lifeline to the print element of the news industry’.
Interactive Newsprint grew out of a previous project called Bespoke which sought to innovate digital co-design methods using community based journalism.
Added Paul: “Digital devices and microphones, buttons, sliders, colour-hanging fibres, LED text displays and mobile communication can all be used in an interactive newspaper.”
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