Open the newspaper with your morning coffee, read an article and watch a video about the topic on the same page? It may sound like a vision of the future, but it is already reality. AR technology is already making a connection between digital and printed worlds possible.
The newspaper of tomorrow?
By combining print and augmented reality, F.A.Z. and Saint Elmo's are creating a new newspaper experience.
Two worlds become one
For the 30th anniversary of the unification of Germany, F.A.Z. shows that there doesn’t have to be a wall between print and digital. The AR print edition combines the classic newspaper format with digital features such as videos, image galleries, interactive before-and-after graphics, three-dimensional infographics and 3D animations that accompany and complement the editorial articles.
Thanks to the AR features, readers not only have access to additional information, but can also experience the newspaper content in a more tangible way. The AR issue of F.A.Z. on the topic of reunification contains image galleries and sliders with photos from the GDR era, interviews with contemporary witnesses and videos of historic moments, such as the first celebration of German unification on 3 October 1990 with speeches by Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl, all embedded in the context of the editorial pieces.
The virtual content can be accessed simply by scanning the QR code printed in F.A.Z. An app does not need to be installed.
This is how it works:
• Articles with AR content are identified in the F.A.Z. issue by a corresponding symbol and QR code.
• To access a feature, the reader scans the QR code with their smartphone camera or a QR scanner app and allows the AR app to access the camera.
• After that, all readers need to do is hold their smartphone or tablet over the image with the AR symbol and the content becomes visible.
• Some features are interactive, such as with the Volkswagen advertisement, where the reader has the option to view the product three-dimensionally in different colours. If they are interested, they can also access the provider's website via an integrated link.
• Of particular interest to advertisers here is the possibilities offered in terms of determining the performance of the analogue ads by forwarding them to the now digital channel of the smartphone – including measurable geodata, a conversion that was not possible before.
The AR issue of F.A.Z. was published on 2 October 2020 with a double circulation of 500,000 copies. It is the first issue in the 70-year history of the national newspaper to be published with digital content. Saint Elmo's was responsible for the implementation concept and technical implementation of the virtual content. This marks the second time that F.A.Z. and Saint Elmo's have collaborated: in 2019, Saint Elmo's designed the AR components for the special F.A.Z. supplement to mark Serviceplan's Innovation Day.