By Marco Cadena
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
A new project will allow the readers of the Logos to access video material created by UIWtv just by scanning pictures through their smartphones.
The project, whose name has yet to be determined, is centered on an application called Aurasma, which is an augmented reality platform. Project developer Leonard Herbeck, news director for UIWtv, said he was first introduced to this application during a convergent media course.
“I did a little side project for class where I was trying to bring the news stories that (UIWtv) does and incorporate them with the print news stories that I have seen in the Logos,” Herbeck said. “I thought that the Aurasma app — with its capabilities — was the app to test this out. The response I got was just positive.”
Initially, Dr. Joseph “Joey” Lopez, who teaches convergent media courses, and Herbeck came out with the idea to implement the application in a real-world setting.
“I talked to Jenifer Jaffe, the Logos’ editor, and Hank McDonnell, director of the communication arts department, and we saw this as a beta test run to see if we could get this to work in the way I had envisioned,” Herbeck said. “Once I did this project I saw that this was a very do-able thing.”
Aurasma’s image-recognition technology requires a smart hone or tablet’s camera to recognize an object, which allows a video or an animation to play within the object’s perimeter.
Herbeck said, “With your Aurasma app, you can scan a picture in the newspaper. The app will read the image, which is connected to the video it is associated with, and then it will play the video within the parameters of the picture on the printed page. Even if you move your smartphone, the image will only stay within the limits of the picture you just scanned.”
By downloading the Aurasma application on a smartphone or tablet, readers can have access to this feature.
“This project is kind of like YouTube, where in order to get another person’s videos you would have to subscribe to them,” Herbeck said. “However, this app allows [UIWtv] to open up our account publicly so readers would not necessarily need to subscribe. They should be able to just scan the picture in the Logos and should immediately take that image from the account.”
This convergence between the Logos and UIWtv will allow readers to get more information of the printed story through material covered by UIWtv.
“[UIWtv is] really excited to finally evolve this media in a way that people have always envisioned but just did not know how to do it,” Herbeck said. “I hope that this project pushes media to a level that we have not seen before.”
Staffers with UIWtv, the Logos and faculty discussed the different alternatives regarding the recognition between the news articles’ photographs that contain video material and the ones that do not.
“Possibly in the future whenever you see the Aurasma logo, that will indicate that the article or something on this page would work with the app,” Herbeck said.
Another potential use for this application is with advertisements.
“Maybe a person who is advertising in a newspaper can make use of this application so when the print ad is scanned an actual commercial can appear on the screen,” Herbeck said. “The advertising potentials, the story potentials, the overall potentials are limitless”
The project is expected to work in this semester’s newspaper issues.
“I hope that people utilize this and find it fun and interactive,” Herbeck said. “Compare it to the Harry Potter movies where the pictures came to life on the actual paper, so you could say that this is a code name for the project — the Harry Potter project.”