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Newspaper embraces augmented reality

Layar uses technology to bring print to life
Newspaper embraces augmented reality

 VIDEO   – Imagine opening the newspaper and watching a video.

Or instantly buying items seen in a newspaper advertisement from the advertiser’s online store.

Or seeing the story behind the story.

Peak Publishing can help readers do that by erasing the line between print and digital media through the use of augmented reality.

It’s easy for readers to join the experience.

All it takes is Layar, an app readers can download for free, to make the Powell River Peak come to life.

While Layar has been used by hundreds of magazines in Europe, Glacier Media Company, of which Peak Publishing is part, is the first media chain in the world to promote the app across all its publications.

“Our plan is to increase engagement between our newspapers and our readers,” Peak publisher Joyce Carlson said. “We want to increase the time readers spend with us, improve the utility of our publications and seamlessly integrate our advertisers’ digital assets into our newspaper.”

Advertisers can inform and entertain readers, and allow them to share deals via email, Facebook and Twitter, book appointments conveniently, make restaurant reservations or buy products and services, without needing to put down the paper and go to their computer, or take out their laptop, log on and open a program.

Layar adds many different dimensions to a print advertising campaign or to the stories and photos that appear in the editorial component of the Peak.

“The Internet can’t be contained in a tiny box that sits on your table or that rests in the palm of your hand,” said Nigel Newton, Layar’s Canadian representative. “It’s all around us, integrated into the very fabric of our physical world. With Layar we can bring our digital lives to our physical environment, providing us all with the same power of connectedness to the things around us as we currently enjoy the web.”

In 1968, Ivan Sutherland created the first augmented reality system, one year before the birth of the Internet. It was 24 years later, in 1992, that IBM and Bell South introduced the first smart phone. Steven Feiner presented the first mobile augmented reality system in a backpack. In 2007 the first iPhone launched. In 2008, Enkin, the first augmented reality mobile app concept, was introduced with the Android Developer Challenge but it disappeared shortly after. At the same time, the Android phone was launched, the first with a compass which makes geo-based augmented reality possible. A year later, Layar was created and in 2012, it started to be used by print publishers who want to make their pages interactive.

Layar uses the natural components of the Peak to recognize images in this newspaper that have been enabled for augmented reality. It translates these images into buttons and notifications on a reader’s device screen.

Newspaper pages, photographs, advertisements and other images can all utilize the Layar image recognition platform to allow the augmented reality components to appear instantly on readers’ smart phones or tablets. This makes it cleaner for designers and easier for consumers to use.

To join the more than 28 million people who have downloaded Layar, readers are invited to visit or an app store and start scanning the Peak today. As an extra reward for downloading the app, readers will be entered into a contest to win $500.

“When readers scan this issue’s print pages they can immediately view videos, share photos on social media, buy products, email us directly, share on Facebook, visit blogs, and much more, all without putting down the newspaper or their cup of coffee,” said Carlson. “Layar is a unique digital experience—one that, we believe, offers enriched content and brings our printed pages to life.”