A weekly newspaper’s innovation which transforms printed photographs into videos has been hailed as having the “biggest potential since the introduction of colour” by its editor.
Readers can access videos through their copy of the newspaper by downloading an app for their mobile, then hovering the device over certain still images.
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.
The News has developed the idea with technology company Aurasma, which specialises in ‘augmented reality’.
The Aurasma app can be downloaded in less than one minute and yesterday’s edition features viewable video on 12 different pages – including some advertisements as well as editorial images.
Editor Ed Asquith told HTFP: “We’re hoping it’ll open the possibility of creating a dynamic new partnership between print and digital. When you show people how it works, it’s so simple and goes straight from paper to phone.
“Editorially and commercially it’s got the possibility to have the biggest potential since the introduction of colour to the paper, offering something new and opening new opportunities for presenting stories and advertisements in a brighter, more modern way.”
“It is a really Harry Potter-style thing with images coming out to real life, in reality.
“It’s got a ‘wow’ factor. Even our own reporters’ reaction is ‘wow’ and, when that’s the reaction from your own staff to the paper itself, that’s magnified by the reaction of the people I’ve showed it to.”
Its introduction in the News’ current edition coincides with a conference, called ‘Exploring Digital Futures’, which is being held in Scarborough this weekend and is backed by the Johnston Press-owned News.
Ahead of the conference, Aurasma approached Graham Walker, who is commercial content editor for JP in Yorkshire, about the possibility of using the technology in the paper.
Said Graham: “We are proud to have created another Johnston Press first – showing how we are using new state-of-the-art innovation to marry print with digital, giving extra added value to our printed products.
“We have made the ‘Harry Potter newspapers’ where print appeared to come alive, a reality.
“And just as we all marvelled at the Princess Leia hologram in Star Wars – next we are planning pop up 3D images so readers can look around content such as new cars, homes and from jewellery to museum pieces and even their favourite sport, movie and musical heroes, who don’t not just appear but can sing and interact out of the page.”
A six step guide on how to use it has featured in recent editions, ahead of yesterday’s launch. However, it is yet to be decided whether its use will be expanded to other titles across the group.
A similar use of augmented reality technology was made last year by the Newbury News, whose ‘Newbury 13D app’ also enabled readers to bring printed images to life by scanning the page with their phone.
The News won the printed innovation of the year award at last year’s newsawards for the ground-breaking app.