Sun Community News introduced their new augmented reality feature through the Layar application last week with an advertisement campaign and coverage of the Port Henry dissolution plan public hearing.
ELIZABETHTOWN — Last week, Sun Community News debuted its newest innovation with augmented reality.
Once the Layar app is downloaded, users can use their smartphone or other mobile device to scan a page, picture or advertisement which features the Layar logo. Once recognized, enhanced content will start showing.
The application will also store the content to be replayed at a later time.
“I have been referring to it as interactive print,” said Dan Alexander, Jr., General Manager at Sun Community News. “It’s something fun and cool. We can bring so much more to a reader than a headshot or a link to a website at the end of the story. It will make the newspaper so much more interesting to read — I can sit there and hold my phone and watch the page come to life. You move the phone and what you are watching stays attached to the page.”
Alexander said the technology, which runs off an interactive application called Layar (downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store), gives the company the ability to enhance any type of print for their newspapers and North Country Living magazine, along with providing the same feature for advertisers through print ads, business cards, brochures, posters, banners and billboards.
“You can have photo carousels or video, which can also be enhanced — the possibilities are kind of endless,” Alexander said. “It allows businesses to have more enhanced pieces printed for them as well as on their print ads.”
Sun Community News debuted AR last week in an advertisement and as part of a story on the dissolution plan public hearing in the village of Port Henry.
Sun Community News Publisher Dan Alexander, Sr., said augmented reality is a way for the business to combine the print and digital worlds of journalism and advertisement.
“Readers haven’t abandoned print, it’s newspapers that have abandoned readers,” Alexander, Sr., said. “Augmented reality is the first of many steps to bring hard copy and digital into one platform. Once again, our newspaper is proud to be the first newspaper in our region to bring AR to you.”
Alexander, Jr., talked about the various ways businesses could use the feature.
“You could have a link to the history of your business that opens when a person scans your business card,” he said. “You can take a virtual tour of a store or a house up for sale. You can enhance news coverage in the paper by having video of an interview with an official that comes to life when you scan the page. You can do all of this without having to open a website, you can launch the app, tap the screen and watch the enhanced content show up. You can link to a person’s Twitter feed, so when you scan their face their posts come up right next to it.”
During the recent New York Press Association (NYPA) spring convention, Alexander said the company led the discussion on AR.
“After going to the NYPA conference, we seem to be the only ones really implementing this,” he said. “We knew this was really a step up when we talked to Dave Tyler (NYPA President and Publisher of Sun Community News sister company Eagle News) and other publishers who were really impressed with what we were doing with this.”
For more on augmented reality, see Dan Alexander, Sr.’s “Thoughts from the Pressline” column on the editorial page in this week’s edition.