Augmented Reality Gimmicks Seek to Add New Life to Print

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Alan A. Reiter
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Re: Quick
Alan A. Reiter   4/18/2012 3:39:43 PM

Hi sohaibmasood,

As I replied to AliceAMM, techies know about augmented reality, will download AR apps and have no problems downloading apps in general. But mainstream consumers are clueless about augmented reality and many are somewhat scared or confused about even downloading apps (although that certainly is changing).

You ask why people would open a newspaper when they could read everything on the Web. There are a few answers to that. One is that some publications are instituting paywalls, so many of the articles in the print publication aren't available on the Web without paying a subscription fee.

Also, many people still like to read paper, whether it's spreading out a newspaper on a table, reading a print magazine in a restaurant or relaxing with a paperback book. So the Philadelphia Inquirer is trying to make its print newspaper more interesting -- and useful -- to newsprint readers. This assumes that newsprint readers will have their phones when reading the newspaper, and the process of using AR will be fast, entertaining and useful.

Personally, almost all my reading is now digital, on my desktop or laptop computers and, more and more, on tablets. As I wrote, I'm convinced the future of most publications will be digital, not paper. But for many reasons, it will take years for this to occur for mainstream readers who don't like and/or can't afford reading on computers and tablets.

Alan A. Reiter
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Re: Quick
Alan A. Reiter   4/18/2012 3:27:09 PM

Hi AliceAMM,

There also are other problems with augmented reality in paper publications. Many people have no idea what it is! Even if they know, some people don't know much about downloading apps or are somewhat scared to do so.

Techies will use augmented reality, but will mainstream consumers? It's like QR codes. And the mainstream is who newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer want to capture.

I find it fascinating, too, and I guess we'll see beginning next month whether it's just a short term gimmick or a longer term valuable technology for the Inquirer.

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Re: Quick
sohaibmasood   4/18/2012 3:12:05 PM

@AliceAMM: I agree with you. It will be fascinating for the first couple of times but then why would you open a newspaper to view AR when you could just catch everything on the web? 

Keeping the user engaged is the big question. Lets see what the results have to say. 

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AliceAMM   4/18/2012 12:11:52 PM

A major problem I see for print publications is most, if not all, AR capabilities -- animations, videos, additional images, etc., -- can be implemented on the Web and in regular applications for phones and tablets without the need to open a paper publication.

This was one of my thoughts as I watched the videos. Another was it seemed slow. If I'm reading print ... if ... and I do decide to use the smartphone or tablet to see the augmented content, it better be quick to keep my attention.

I do find it fascinating though. Cannot wait to see how this evolves.

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