It sounds like the stuff of the distant future, but a university research project is determined to create what it believes is the world’s first internet-enabled newspaper.
Students at the University of Central Lancashire are collaborating with a printed electronics company to develop smart paper that responds to human touch.
The aim is to bridge the digital gap, providing new ways for people to interact with news and foster communication and social engagement within local communities.
Co-ordinator of the project, Paul Egglestone, gives an example of what the project could be used for in the future. “Imagine a community news poster with an interactive title. This could be designed to advertise and illustrate articles read aloud at the push of embedded buttons around the edge of the poster.
“The title text could show the times of forthcoming community events or meetings. Alternatively, imagine a home notice board display or picture frame containing active paper to which community club members could broadcast club news in short SMS text messages and voicemails.”
The team is in the process of testing the technology, both in labs and out on the streets, in an effort to discover how people respond to a newspaper they can interact with.