Philadelphia newspaper adds augmented reality via iPad app

Video showcases new features of its iPad-enhanced newspaper

I love the videos that Aurasma posts on YouTube, highlighting its very cool app that adds augmented reality (AR) to physical objects like paper, posters, etc. In this video, we see a demonstration of the AR-enhanced Philadelphia Inquirer. By pointing an iPad or iPhone at the newspaper, the app adds multimedia components to the physical paper - such as showing a video instead of a flat photo, or playing a movie trailer on an ad.

While this is an interesting concept, the whole part seems to be redundant. If a person already owns an iPad or an iPhone, there's a browser on their device that can point to the newspaper's website. There's probably a mobile app that could be developed for the phone and tablet that produces the same thing. Adding this interactivity to a physical newspaper by requiring a device that can also access the same content online seems to be just a cute parlor trick.

The Aurasma technology is more interesting for things beyond newspapers - it's for things like movie posters, or museum attractions, things that don't necessarily have an immediate online presence, but can enhance an experience for someone in that specific location.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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