Northern California paper launches AR
The Ledger Dispatch of Jackson, California, also harnessed the power of augmented reality to bring its pages to life in February. The publisher's interactive news initiative allows readers of the twice-weekly paper to use their smartphones to "see" trigger images in the newspaper and access a deeper level of content.
The Ledger Dispatch's AR experience is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. By downloading an app, readers simply hold their Android or iPhone over photos or blocks of text to launch the interactive experience. This is a similar AR project to what The Philadelphia Inquirer did back in 2012.
"With this tool, readers can use their newspaper as a launch pad to watch movie trailers, read the local crime log, shop for a new car, view the last few minutes of a high school basketball game, or just explore different dimensions of a news story," Jack Mitchell, publisher of the Ledger Dispatch, said in a statement. "The possibilities are endless. With just a smartphone, the traditional newspaper becomes a 21st Century interactive experience."
Mitchell said the technology also holds tremendous appeal for advertisers. With AR, advertisers can layer video, audio and other features behind an advertisement in the pages of the paper, enhancing their ability to woo customers, he said.
"We believe newspapers are the glue that holds communities together, and we know they are struggling," said Rich Hoffman, CEO of the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, which owns the Ledger Dispatch.
"We think the AR experience can help newspapers win back readers, and we want to make this technology accessible to them on a wide scale."