Euro Paper Brings AR to News

German Newspaper Brings Life To Print News A La Harry Potter

In the Harry Potter movies, the newspapers are animated. Instead of simply standing still, pictures of individuals come to live with facial expressions and movement. You could say that JK Rowling was pioneering augmented reality without even knowing it.

A newspaper in Europe has done the same thing. The biggest selling daily European newspaper, Bild, now has a feature that will transform pictures in the paper into thirty second video clips when users hover with their smartphones.

Currently, the only supported news items are stories from Germany’s recent soccer matches in the Bundesliga season. And while this isn’t the first attempt to integrate augmented reality and print news (JK Rowling would have to take credit for that), it’s certainly the largest scale effort.

Japan and Canada have also played around with combining newspapers and augmented reality, but their efforts have been sporadic at best. Introduced only as an advertising gimmick as opposed to a feature of the paper, they have failed to adopt the unique stance that Bild has: offering content exclusively via augmented reality medium. These video clips are available only via the newspaper — so either readers take advantage of it, or they go without.

Perhaps best of all is that this feature is available at no extra cost. It’s simply an additional perk of buying the paper.

Most interesting is the fact that while many newspapers are slowly dissolving their print assets in favor of digital ones, Bild seems to be taking a different approach. Instead of ditching their old-fashioned paper newspaper, they’re incentivizing users to purchase it with exclusive content. A creative marketing strategy? Perhaps.

Bild’s sales have dropped by over 50% in the past 15 years to “only” 1.7 million copies a day in 2017. Will augmented reality save their shrinking newspaper? And by extension, will it save other hurting companies in the publishing industry? Only time will tell.

What do you think about Bild’s augmented reality features? Let us know in a comment!