Stuck somewhere between Germany’s ubiquitous newspapers and North America’s disappearing ones, Great Britain is now weighing bringing web interactivity to newsprint rather than newsprint-based stories to the Web.
Interactive Newsprint – a joint project of the universities of Dundee, Surrey and Central Lancashire, along with technology company Novalia – is currently exploring ways of incorporating printed electronics into traditional newspapers.
The result – an actual Internet-connected sheet of newsprint that can function in many ways like a tablet computer. So far, prototypes already can play audio and allow readers to take part in interactive polls and access social media networks.
Of course the greater promise is in the fact that once this can be developed in newspaper form, truly interactive, Internet-tethered posters, magazines and collateral cannot be far behind.
(However, what “wired” paper will do to a paper industry that’s spent the last few years trumpeting its eco-friendly credentials is another question.)