While augmented reality technology emerges as the latest fad for publishers, the Los Angeles Times used a far simpler solution to add interactivity to its printed newspapers: the sun.
This year, the front cover of LA Times’ annual Oscar Awards preview edition features a tableaux of black and white Oscar trophies. These trophies then burst with colour and imagery representing each of the 2016 Best Picture nominees once the cover is held up to a bright light like the sun.
Assistant managing editor of LA Times Michael Whitley said the idea of an interactive printed newspaper page was a couple of years in the making.
“We were sitting around one day, thinking about how our smartphones bring all this interactivity and we thought, ‘How can we make can we make a printed page that interacts the same way that a smartphone does?’,” Mr Whitley said in a video posted on the LA Times’ website.
“I think it’s something really cool, it’s something unique that I don’t think anyone’s seen done before.”
The effect is achieved by printing the second colour image on page two, perfectly lined up with the image on page one, according to The Poynter Institute’s interview with Mr Whitley.
Page two still functions as a standalone page for readers who don’t hold the newspaper up to light.
LA Times is owned by American media company Tribune Publishing.
— michael whitley (@michaelwhitley) February 26, 2016
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