SemaNews idea catching on

The paper Making Bits and Atoms Talk Today I wrote together with Ruben Thys about his Master’s thesis featured a scenario on interaction with printed media called SemaNews (there is also some information available at Ruben’s page under the section “Results > Daily Newspaper”).

Here is a very short video of the SemaNews scenario that I used in my presentation at the DIPSO workshop:


Apparantely the more general idea of interactivity with printed media — in this case ads in printed media — seems to be breaking throughSaatchi and Saatchi together with HITLabNZ created an interactive, augmented-reality advertisement for the Wellington Zoo in a New Zealand newspaper. Users can use their mobile to see 3D images of some of the animals in the zoo. They first download an application from a URL by decoding a barcode on the ad. As they move their phone over a printed pattern on the ad, they can rotate the 3D objects accordingly. The 3D objects are placed over the image that the camera records. The ad was definitely effective since the zoo saw a 32 % increase in visitors :-)

Here is a short movie (original source):

Get the latest Flash Player to see this player.

2D barcodes are gaining more ground. While they were already popular in Asia, Google will now also be using them in their print ads (photo by Chika Watanabe):


There is no real interactivity for the user here though. These barcodes just encode an URL and thereby offer the reader an easy way to go to the accompanying website while letting Google know that they came from a particular print ad. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see that barcodes and other auto-ID technologies such as RFID are getting more popular everyday.

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