The augmented reality app to get children reading newspapers


For the digital native of a certain age, there are few sights more quaint than their father (or grandfather) disappearing behind a wall of newsprint. So how to break down that paper barrier?

A new ‘augmented reality’ app from a Japanese newspaper has one solution.

The app developed by Tokyo Shimbun newspaper allows children to point their phone camera at a piece of typically dense newspaper text, which then picks up an ‘augmented reality’ overlay of info and pictures in formats more suited to children. This means pop-ups with simpler language and even extra cartoon action – so the little ones can join in when their parents get their old-school fix of current affairs.

It’s a laudable attempt to get children interested in newspapers through good old ‘monkey see monkey do’, ever a powerful force in parenting, but I suspect the horse has already bolted. Kids are so plugged into their Facebook etc world, which offers most of the ‘news’ they want, I can’t see them taking this up in any numbers. Either way, here’s a link to the article at a sustainable ideas consultancy called ‘We Are What We Do’. And here’s the link to the app on the ITunes app store – though it’s all in Japanese. Arigato!

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