Interactive Magazines Breathe New Life into Print

Interactive Newsprint team have been busy translating their original ideas for interactive newspapers to magazines. They’ve been experimenting with a few new concepts that enable users to listen to and interact with print. And they’ve been playing with the idea of ‘label electronics’ – electronic components printed onto a super thin sticker that attaches to any surface and connects printed products to the web.

Disturbing and disrupting the digital direction of travel with a hybrid technology may not be popular with people who believe they have seen the screen based future of news and information but it is an exciting prospect for the communities who have been working with the team to develop a paper product that connects them to the web – and rolls up to fit in their pockets.

Paul Egglestone said: ‘Imagining a media future as screen based is easy. Imagining a whole bunch of digital media futures that don’t need a screen definitely isn’t easy – but it says something about our dissatisfaction with the current screen based offerings which provide an experience that some really love – but others just feel forced to accept. I’m not sure they need to. The evolution of display technology does not end with tablets. Interaction won’t finish with touch gestures – that’s just where we are now. Looking for what’s next is much more exciting’

There’s still a healthy obsession with ‘touch metrics’ and ‘paper data’ in this prototype too. Time has been spent thinking about appropriate technologies and techniques that record and measure readers interactions with print products. And whilst researchers know the technology to make interactive print a ubiquitous alternative to traditional or screen based media isn’t there yet – they’ve also learned that technology without design, design without content, content without an audience and a final product that brings it all together but doesn’t scale cheaply won’t find its place in people’s lives.