By Marco Cadena
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The Logos and UIWtv are reintroducing a project centered on a smartphone application that will allow readers to access video material when scanning the student newspaper’s print stories.
Aurasma, an augmented reality platform that uses image recognition technology to reproduce visual content on smartphones or tablets when scanning real-world images, powers the collaboration between the two student media groups.
Developed by Leonard Herbeck, UIWtv’s operations director, the project will resurface in upcoming Logos publications after last year’s test run.
“This project is something that UIWtv has been developing for a while,” Herbeck said. “We are very excited that we finally have a system in place that will be beneficial not just for the Logos and UIWtv but also to the student body as a whole.”
Aurasma’s platform features a drag-and-drop web studio that enables users to easily generate, manage and track other augmented reality products.
“It is going to be an exciting thing to show people what technology can do,” Herbeck said. “Aurasma is a good way to introduce augmented reality software that creates not only a passive but also an interactive experience because it invites the user to play with the application.”
The platform is available for free download in all Apple and Android devices. In order to access the video material, application users need to create an account and follow the Logos and UIWtv’s Aurasma accounts.
Once the user creates a profile, readers will need to scan the image, which is connected to the video, and then the application will play the visual within the parameters of the picture on the printed page. The video display stays within the limits of the scanned photograph even when the smartphone moves.
“Initially there is going to be a segment of people that are going to be adverse because [the project] is technologically driven,” Herbeck said. “However, I expect to show that print media is not dead. It is just changing and evolving.”
Aurasma’s logo, a purple “A,” will indicate which stories in the newspaper the augmented reality software powers.
“Last time when we implemented Aurasma, there was no way to indicate which stories were powered by Aurasma,” said Gaby Galindo, assistant editor of the Logos. “This time we are going to include the logo at the bottom of the story and it will also say ‘Powered by Aurasma’ so that our readers know that they can use the application.”
For the Logos and UIWtv’s officers, some of the project’s difficulties will be the timing between the publications of the newspaper and video material from the newscasts.
“Logos editors do not always know whether UIWtv is covering the same story we are writing about,” Galindo said. “Our schedules are different so we will try to keep up with each other’s stories so when UIWtv has a finished story, the Logos will be able to use that material in the newspaper.”
This Pokémon-Go-like augmented reality software has collaborated with companies such as Disney Hollywood Studios, Budweiser and Best Western.
“I think this project will be great for the Logos because we have been trying to converge with other departments for a long time,” Galindo said. “This time my goal is to stick to this project, to learn and to fully utilize it. I want to pass it on to the next people in line so they can keep up with it.”
Apart from advertising potential, Aurasma’s software has the capability to reimagine tours around campus during orientations.
“Aurasma is a great application that clubs and organizations can use because it will let students access videos by scanning fliers and posters in the hallways,” Galindo said. “I have really high hopes that this is something that students will like and engage with. It will be great to see how students react to it.”