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Top-selling regional daily trials moving images in newspaper

The nation’s biggest-selling regional daily is trialling an innovation which transforms printed photographs into videos in its newspaper.

The Express & Star, Wolverhampton, is experimenting with augmented reality technology, which enables smartphone users to turn newspaper photos into moving images on its pages.

Ed Asquith, editor of Johnston Press weekly the Scarborough News, last month hailed the technology as having the “biggest potential since the introduction of colour” to print products.

Now the E&S has featured augmented reality in a piece on fashion designer and illustrator Elizabeth Ilsley which was run to celebrate 100 Masters, a campaign to promote artists and creative people from the Black Country.

ES augmented

When viewed through a special app on a smartphone, readers were able to see interactive animations which appeared over the page.

Deputy editor Diane Davies said: “We were initially introduced to the idea of augmented reality at the end of last year by Creative Black Country who we work closely with regarding coverage of the arts in the region.

“They asked us to publicise the 100 Masters campaign, which we were happy to do, and then demonstrated augmented reality to myself and digital editor Mike Woods asking whether we would be interested in trialling it in the Express & Star as part of the 100 Masters project.

“We jumped at the idea. The thought of additional content jumping out of our pages was very exciting.”

The innovation has been compared to fictional newspaper ‘The Daily Prophet’, found in the Harry Potter series of books and films, which is read by wizards and features moving images instead of still pictures.

E&S reporter Doug Wootton is coordinating the paper’s 100 Masters editorial coverage and has worked closely with the developers on the project.

Liam Smyth, 100 Masters creative producer, said: “This is an exciting first, as we have worked in collaboration with the Express & Star, the country’s biggest regional newspaper, to bring artwork into thousands of households across the West Midlands.

“This is what the future of media looks like and, as ever, the Black Country are leading the way in revolutionising the way we make, see and do things.”

In December 2014, the Newbury Weekly News was thought to have been the first regional paper to pioneer the technology when it experimented with a 3D Father Christmas feature.

5 comments

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  • June 19, 2017 at 8:15 am
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    So, buy the paper, download the app, hover and hold to seemoving images…
    ….or you could just go to a website and view whatever it is you’re being encouraged to look at.
    It seems to me someone’s been taken in by coming up with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and with an app that’ll likely be the first to be deleted when the novemty wears off or more space is needed on the persons mobile device.
    “…This is what the future of media looks like …”
    What a shame they believe this and feel this is the direction to take when there are much bigger and more relevant and pressing matters to contend with.

    Novelty value for publisher and developer 10
    Actual use to users 0

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  • June 19, 2017 at 9:13 am
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    This has been around for 6-7 years, there is a reason it didn’t catch on. I guess it’s something to mention in the annual smoke and mirrors report.

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  • June 19, 2017 at 11:54 am
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    Another story about this? There was one a couple of weeks ago.

    This is ancient technology now, been around for years.

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  • June 19, 2017 at 12:02 pm
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    ” This is what the future of media looks like ”
    As evidenced by what exactly?
    Or is that just part of the sales pitch to get more desperate publishers to buy into this old hat and believe this will bring the thoudands of lost readers back?

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